A psychiatrist from San Angelo, Texas will be spending the next several Christmas’ in prison. A federal judge in Amarillo sentenced him to 71 months in prison for Medicare fraud. His crime? Billing for patient visits even though the patients were dead or had been discharged!
Dr. Robert Hadley Gross was sentenced this week to 5 years, 11 months in prison plus must pay $1.8 million when released. Earlier this year he pleaded guilty to a single count of Medicare fraud.
According to his indictment, Gross was routinely billing both Medicare and Medicaid for visits even though he never saw or treated the patients. Often, the patients had died or had been already been discharged from the facility where he allegedly saw them.
Gross evidently thought he had figured out the perfect scam. Because his patients were either foster kids or nursing home patients suffering from retardation or developmental disabilities, the chance of getting turned by a patient was remote. He was wrong!
Gross has been in custody since his arrest last fall. Most Medicare fraud defendants are released on bail. Not Gross. Prosecutors argued that he fled the U.S. after a previous indictment in 1996! His crimes back then? You guessed it! Medicare fraud.
In addition to the prison and restitution, prosecutors also forfeited $2 million of property owned by Gross.
Hopefully Texas will yank his license to practice medicine. Instead of helping patients, Gross apparently used his license to practice medicine as a license to steal from taxpayers.
Medicare and Medicaid fraud have reached epidemic levels. The FBI believes that taxpayers lose billions of dollars each year to fraudsters like Gross. How do most get caught? Whistleblowers!
Whistleblowers have become the new American heroes. Tired of seeing millions of dollars wasted, a few concerned physicians, billing specialists and hospital workers are blowing the whistle on Medicare fraud.
Although Gross was primarily accused of billing for services never performed, sometimes Medicare fraud has a much darker side. We have seen many cases where physicians bill for medically unnecessary services. There are a few really bad apples that willing perform dangerous surgeries or chemo treatments simply to collect Medicare money.
Medicare Fraud and the False Claims Act
Under the federal False Claims Act, whistleblowers who report Medicare fraud can collect up to 30% of whatever the government collects from the wrongdoers. To qualify, one generally must be the first to report and must have inside information about the fraud or scheme.
To collect an award, whistleblowers must file a complaint in federal court. Calling a toll free hotline does not qualify you for a large award.
In 2014, the Justice Department handed out $435 million in awards. (Our clients have received over $100 million – the awards are real!)
Interested in becoming a whistleblower? Call us confidentially and we can help you determine if you qualify. For more information, contact attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone at (414) 704-6731 (direct). You can also visit our Medicare fraud information page.
MahanyLaw – America’s Whistleblower Lawyers