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Medicare Fraud by Physician Due Sentence Enhancement Under Guidelines
Description Physician who engaged in Medicare fraud -- charging patients and the government for medical equipment not needed or obtained -- was properly tried. Sentence enhancement under Guidelines was proper because of her position of fiduciary responsibility.
Topic Criminal Law
Key Words Sentencing Guidelines, Medicare Fraud, Fiduciary
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts A physician signed false medical equipment payment claims for elderly patients and was convicted of Medicare fraud. She appealed the conviction on various grounds and appealed the level 19 sentence under the Sentencing Guidelines as inappropriate.
Decision Affirmed. The Guidelines provide enhancement of sentences in some cases: "If the defendant abused a position of public or private trust, or used a special skill, in a manner that significantly facilitated the commission or concealment of the offense, increase by 2 levels." As a doctor, she was "in a fiduciary relationship with her patients and the government" so the enhancement of sentence is appropriate.
Citation U.S. v. Ntshona, F.3d (1998 WL 598614, 2nd Cir.),
156 F. 3d 318 (2nd Cir., 1998)

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