Have you ever had a major issue with your foot or leg? If so, you may have had to pay a visit to a podiatrist. Podiatrists are medical specialists who help with ailments impacting the feet and lower legs. They often treat injuries, but also help with such medical conditions as diabetes. Podiatrists are also often referred to as podiatric physicians or doctors of podiatric medicine.
60 year-old, Kenneth Mitchell is a podiatrist. The Oakland County, Michigan resident, however, has recently become known for more than his work in the field of podiatry. As reported by the United States Department of Justice, Mitchell devised and executed a $1.8 million scheme to defraud Medicare. The plot involved billing for services under another doctor’s name after Medicare revoked his privileges to participate in the program.
Mitchell has been convicted for his crimes.
The DoJ reports that, last week, Mitchell was convicted for his role in the Medicare scheme. He was also found guilty of falsifying records that were designed to prevent detection of his fraudulent activity. As well, Mitchell was convicted of aggravated identity theft for falsely corresponding with Medicare under the name of another physician.
Court documents presented at the trial showed that Mitchell had been revoked from participating in the Medicare program in January of 2015. Not long after, he convinced his then-partner to enroll in Medicare. The partner also assisted with the opening of a new clinic called Urban Health Care Group PLLC.
After establishing the new business, Mitchell continued to bill Medicare for services just as he had prior to his revocation. However, he billed exclusively under the name of his partner. Law enforcement eventually discovered that this scheme was being conducted. As a result, Medicare suspended payments to Urban Health Care Group PLLC.
Mitchell also submitted false statements to Medicare regarding the fraud allegations.
Once again, he did so using his partner’s name. This was all in an effort to thwart the government’s investigation. As well, Mitchell wanted to ensure the release of Medicare funds to the bank account he controlled.
All in all, Mitchell was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud; three counts of health care fraud; one count of falsification of records in a federal investigation; and one count of aggravated identity theft. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 26, 2023.
Mitchell faces a heavy prison sentence.
He can receive a maximum penalty of imprisonment of 20 years for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, 10 years for health care fraud, 20 years for falsification of records, and two years for aggravated identity theft (to be served consecutive to any other sentence).
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