MICHIGAN

A federal jury convicted a Michigan man Friday for concocting a $1.8 million scheme to defraud Medicare by billing for services under another doctor’s name, officials stated.

He used another doctor’s name after Medicare revoked his privileges to participate in the program, officials stated.

The defendant, Dr. Kenneth Mitchell, 60, of Oakland County, Michigan, was also convicted for falsification of records designed to prevent detection of this fraud. Also found guilty of aggravated identity theft for falsely corresponding with Medicare under the name of another physician.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Mitchell was revoked from participating in the Medicare program in January 2015.

Shortly thereafter, he convinced his then-partner to enroll in Medicare and assist in opening a new clinic called Urban Health Care Group PLLC.

Once the new business was set up, Mitchell continued to bill Medicare for services just as he had prior to his revocation, only now exclusively under the name of his partner.

Upon law enforcement’s discovery of this scheme, Medicare suspended payments to Urban Health Care Group PLLC.

Mitchell subsequently submitted false statements to Medicare regarding the fraud allegations (again, under his partner’s name) in an effort to undermine the government’s investigation and ensure the release of Medicare funds to the bank account he controlled.

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 Jan. 26. He is facing up to 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).

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Mario Pinto and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Darren Bartnik of

The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case, officials stated.

Trial Attorneys Kathleen Cooperstein and Shankar Ramamurthy of the Justice Department’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

By Raul

Raul Hernandez is a former journalist. He has worked as a newspaper reporter for more than 30 years at the El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso Times, Press Enterprise in Riverside, California and the Ventura County Star in California. He was a court reporter for more than 20 years.

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