Long Island Medical Doctor Pleads Guilty to Medicare Billing Fraud Scheme

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Morris Barnard, a medical doctor practicing in Great Neck, New York, pleaded guilty to health care fraud in connection with billing Medicare for millions of dollars for medical procedures that were never actually performed.  The proceeding was held before United States Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields. 

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Scott Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge, Health & Human Services and Michael Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI) announced the guilty plea.

“With today’s guilty plea, Dr. Barnard admits to committing a multi-million dollar fraud on the Medicare program by billing for procedures he did not perform,” stated United States Attorney Peace.   “By claiming to render services to disabled and other vulnerable patients, Dr. Barnard not only pocketed taxpayer funds that were intended to help beneficiaries in need, he also betrayed his oath for profit.  We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to protect the integrity of taxpayer-funded health care programs.” 

“Money that’s allocated for Medicare-approved services, and fraudulently paid out to providers who don’t actually perform these services, is a crime that’s ultimately paid for by taxpayers themselves. Our office is committed to rooting out this type of fraudulent activity and maintaining the integrity of our government-sponsored health care programs,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in Charge Driscoll.

“The defendant’s actions diverted scarce taxpayer funds from the Medicare program for personal enrichment, while taking advantage of vulnerable individuals,” stated HHS-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Lampert.  “Working with our law enforcement partners, HHS-OIG will continue to ensure that providers that bill federally funded health care programs do so in an honest manner, and criminals will be held accountable.”

From October 2015 through February 2020, Dr. Barnard submitted over $3 million in billings to Medicare for colonoscopy and gastroenterological procedures that were not done.  Most of these billings indicated that the services were rendered to disabled beneficiaries, who were living in residential group homes.  Medicare reimbursed approximately $1.4 million of these false claims, none of which Dr. Barnard was entitled to receive.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Erin Argo, Charles P. Kelly and Madeline O’Connor of the Long Island Criminal Division.

The Defendant:

MORRIS BARNARD
Age:  58
Great Neck, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-018 (GRB)