Doc Gets Five Months for Medicare Fraud
SAN DIEGO (CN) - A 68-year-old Northern California doctor was sentenced Monday to five months in prison for Medicare fraud and ordered to pay $650,000 in restitution and forfeitures.
Dr. Irving J. Schwartz, of Yuba City, defrauded Medicare by writing hundreds of prescriptions for expensive equipment that was not medically necessary, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
He was ordered to pay $593,430 in restitution to Medicare and to forfeit $55,800 he got in kickbacks.
Schwartz admitted her wrote at least 186 fraudulent prescription for power wheelchairs, billing Medicare up to $5,865 for each one.
"In one case, Dr. Schwartz wrote two power wheelchair prescriptions for a husband and wife living in El Centro," prosecutors said in the statement. "Four years after Medicare paid for the expensive equipment, the power wheelchairs were still wrapped in the original plastic covering and sat unused in the couple's home - except during Christmas when one wheelchair was used as a Christmas tree stand. The husband and wife were both able to walk without difficulty, and they told federal agents that they never asked for the costly equipment, never needed it, and never used it."
Schwartz will have to spend five months in a halfway house when he gets out of prison.