Local Podiatrist Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud Charges
ST. LOUIS, MO—Lawrence B. Iken, DPM, and his company each pled guilty to charges involving the submission of false documents and reimbursement claims related to podiatric services purportedly provided by Dr. Iken, from 2006 through July 2014. As part of his plea, Dr. Iken has agreed to a money judgment of $999,170, which represents the amount of reimbursement that he and his company received for the health care claims.
According to court documents, Dr. Iken and his company, Lawrence B. Iken, DPM, LLC., have offices in Manchester and Creve Coeur, MO. Dr. Iken is a sole practitioner who provided podiatry services to patients at his Manchester and at his Creve Coeur offices and at various nursing homes in the St. Louis area. In addition to his office practice, Dr. Iken is an independent contractor for Preferred Podiatry Group, Inc. (PPG). According to its website, PPG provides podiatric care to residents in nursing homes and other long term care facilities in Missouri and five other states. As a PPG contractor, Dr. Iken provided services to nursing home residents on Wednesdays and Thursdays. With his plea, Dr. Iken admitted that on thousands of occasions, he billed Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies for the incision and drainage of abscesses and hematomas when he actually only clipped the toenails of the patients.
Iken, 65, of Chesterfield, and his company each pled guilty to one felony count of healthcare fraud before United States District Judge Ronald L. White. Sentencing has been set for April 17, 2015.
Dr. Iken now faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000; the company faces a maximum fine of $500,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Missouri Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Dorothy McMurtry is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.