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Medical professional charged with pandemic-related health care fraud

A Fantastic Neck-based mostly doctor has been indicted on federal charges for allegedly defrauding Medicare and Medicaid of a lot more than $1.3 million by distributing fraudulent promises in link with the coronavirus pandemic, authorities claimed Wednesday.

Dr. Perry Frankel, a cardiologist and the proprietor and operator of State-of-the-art Cardiovascular Diagnostics PLLC in Fantastic Neck, allegedly submitted statements to the taxpayer-funded wellbeing treatment programs for professional medical care that was not executed on patients who acquired COVID-19 assessments at mobile tests internet sites operated by his company throughout Lengthy Island. Some of the submitted promises had been on dates when Frankel was out of the point out, prosecutors claimed.

The indictment charged Frankel, 64, of Roslyn, with 3 counts of overall health treatment fraud in relationship with billing submitted very last 12 months.

“As alleged, exploiting a community overall health disaster by employing patients who gained COVID-19 exams at mobile testing web pages to fraudulently bill Medicare and Medicaid for fictitious office environment visits is reprehensible,” Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Breon Peace stated in a assertion. “This Workplace and our legislation enforcement companions will vigorously prosecute those who just take advantage of the pandemic to steal from taxpayer-funded systems.”

Frankel pleaded not responsible for the duration of his preliminary court docket overall look in federal court docket in Central Islip Wednesday afternoon and was ordered launched on a $250,000 unsecured bond.

In accordance to the indictment, from September 2020 to March 2022, Frankel and others “submitted and brought about the submission of wrong and fraudulent claims” that have been “medically unneeded, not provided as represented and ineligible for reimbursement.”

Frankel’s Jericho-based protection attorney, Timothy Sini, in a statement, mentioned: “The Governing administration, as section of a bigger initiative, is concentrating on well being treatment companies who supposedly took edge of the pandemic to reward themselves fiscally. Almost nothing could be even further from the truth in this article — Dr. Frankel furnished a substantially essential assistance through a public wellness disaster and an really difficult time.”

Sini, the previous Suffolk County district lawyer, described Frankel as a revered cardiologist who aided help you save lives throughout the pandemic, undertaking cell health-related screenings for law enforcement, school districts and communities throughout Very long Island and New York Metropolis.

“Dr. Frankel stepped up and brought much wanted COVID-19 tests to the neighborhood. He has been acknowledged for his company by quite a few, like the White Residence,” Sini explained.

The prices from Frankel are portion of what federal authorities explained as a coordinated well being care fraud enforcement motion that has resulted in felony prices against 21 defendants for their alleged participation in wellness treatment fraud schemes connected to COVID-19 involving much more than $149 million in false and fraudulent claims.

In Frankel’s situation, U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert on Wednesday instituted bail circumstances, which include that Frankel surrender his passport and be restricted to vacation within the continental United States unless he receives authorization to go elsewhere.

But Seybert sided with Frankel’s protection lawyer about the government’s ask for that Frankel be restricted from continuing to invoice statements to Medicare and other federal wellbeing care applications.

Sini argued that his consumer need to be permitted to bill Medicare, saying the continued wellness of his healthcare observe — and hence the funding of his legal defense — was dependent on it. Assistant U.S. Lawyer Kelly Lyons argued that Medicare was the “victim” of Frankel’s perform and barring him from billing the taxpayer-funded method is “essential to protect the sufferer from even more economic harm.”

But Seybert claimed it would be “impossible” for Frankel to carry on his healthcare practice with out billing Medicare and requested the prosecution and protection to operate out a method to check Frankel’s billing.

“It would be sort of like another person saying to you, ‘you can still follow as a attorney but we’re not likely to shell out you,’” Seybert explained to Lyons.

Sini advised the judge that the scenario should really not have been brought criminally mainly because it was only “an concern of billing” for the duration of the pandemic, at a time when “rules were being in flux.”

“This is not a legal situation,” Sini said.

Frankel spoke to Newsday in an job interview printed in April 2020 about his initiatives to present cardiovascular health and fitness screenings for the duration of the pandemic, when numerous people were being staying house to avoid possible coronavirus infection. Frankel, who reported he was traversing Long Island and Queens in a 40-foot bus outfitted as a mobile medical unit, explained he could supply blood strain readings, lab function, electrocardiograms and pressure assessments from the bus.

 “We’re taking the buses to consider care of the sufferers the place they live, in their residences and their neighborhoods,” Frankel claimed. “Buses are sterilized in amongst individuals and once more at the stop of the day. Everybody’s supposed to remain home, so men and women however have to have to get their blood stress checked, individuals continue to get upper body pains, shortness of breath, other issues. So we’re there to assistance acquire care of their non-corona problems although we’re hoping to [stop] the corona. This is the time, I advised my staff, we gotta step up …. We cannot just abandon anyone now when they just cannot get out to health professionals. 

With Michael O’Keeffe