UPDATE: Brooklyn doctor sentenced to 48 months in prison for role in $30 million Medicaid and Medicare fraud scheme
A Brooklyn doctor accused by federal prosecutors following an OMIG-assisted investigation of partaking in a $30 million Medicaid and Medicare fraud scheme was sentenced yesterday to 48 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution and forfeiture.
Paul Mathieu, 54, of Morristown, NJ, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield following a six-week trial this May in which a jury found Mathieu guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud; conspiracy to make false statements relating to a health care program; and health care fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud. Mathieu stood accused of using his title of medical professional to pose as the owner of three Brooklyn-based medical clinics that were actually owned by a corrupt businessman, while billing the Medicaid and Medicare programs from 2007 to 2013 for services and medical supplies that were either unnecessary or not provided.
Mathieu’s sentencing follows the sentencing of another alleged co-conspirator in the scheme, Lina Zhitnik, who was sentenced on Dec. 3 to 14 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $1,369,554, and to forfeit $89,682. Zhitnik, 52, of Brooklyn, NY, pleaded guilty in April 2019 to falsifying medical records and falsely claiming to have provided occupational therapy services at the clinics that she did not in fact provide.
A third co-conspirator in the scheme who was convicted at trial with Mathieu of the same charges, Hatem Behiry, of Brooklyn, NY, awaits sentencing. Behiry faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for pretending to provide physical therapy to patients at the clinics who had received cash kickbacks and falsifying medical records.