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Owner of Old Saybrook Business Pleads Guilty to Obstructing Federal Audit

Todd Roberts, owner of Roberts Physical and Aquatic Therapy, could face a sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

 

A message from the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut:

Todd Roberts, 47, of Old Saybrook, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty September 25 before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of obstructing a federal audit.        

According to court documents and statements made in court, Roberts is the owner and operator of Roberts Physical and Aquatic Therapy, located at 210 Main Street in Old Saybrook. 

On January 23, 2009, a Medicare contractor informed Roberts Physical and Aquatic Therapy that the contractor was performing an audit of the practice. 

Roberts instructed an employee to delay the audit by telling the contractor that medical records were stored at a nonexistent storage facility.  Roberts then rented a storage unit at a local facility and used the delay to alter and augment patient records.  Specifically, Roberts, and an employee at his direction, created and added patient progress notes when no notes had been created at the time of service.  The notes made it appear as though Medicare beneficiaries had obtained direct, one-on-one service from a licensed physical therapist when, in fact, some of the services had been rendered by unlicensed auxiliary personnel.

Judge Underhill has scheduled sentencing for December 18, 2012, at which time Roberts faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.        

This investigation was conducted by special agents from the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Sheldon and Auditor Susan Spiegel.        

U.S. Attorney Fein encouraged individuals who suspect health care fraud to report it by calling the Health Care Fraud Task Force at 203-777-6311 or 1-800-HHS-TIPS.

MickeyG September 28, 2012 at 04:46 PM
In this case,it would seem that a substantial fine and probation would make more sense than incarceration. The business is still operating so rather than jail him (at our expense) forcing the business to close and making the payment of any fines unlikely. Levy a fine payable within 30 days and conduct periodic random audits for the period of his probation.
Scott MacBain October 02, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I agree with Mickey. Justice would be poorly served by incarcerating this individual in particular and forcing incarceration for this crime in general. There are many methods for judicial punishment other than tearing a family asunder for what amounts to a minor financial indescretion.
Anupama Gupta October 04, 2012 at 12:20 PM
I feel that such businesses ought to be shutdown to set an example for malpractices. Secondly the business owner should never in their lifetime come anywhere close to healthcare.

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