Psychiatrist Barry Kaplowitz was convicted by a jury yesterday in another case of Medicare fraud In South Florida. Kaplowoitz was on the payroll at Hollywood Pavilion, a Broward County psychiatric facility. The same jury also found Tiffany Foster, who had served in an administrative capacity at the same facility guilty. Hollywood Pavilion, has the subject of a prominent Medicare fraud case.
The 49-year-old Kaplowitz of Aventura was acquitted of the charges of conspiring to defraud Medicare, and of wire fraud. The jury was unable to reach a decision on charges of healthcare fraud. Kaplowitz was convicted of lying about treating patients at Hollywood Pavilion that he had never seen.
In 2013, the chief executive officer of Hollywood Pavilion, Karen Kallen-Zury, and 3 other employees were found guilty of filing false claims to the tune of $40 million from Medicare. Kaplowitz was accused by the prosecution of having contributed to $6.5 million dollar’s worth of these false claims by signing off on charts and other payments that made false claims.
Kaplowitz’ defense attorney, Joel Hirschhorn, argued that his client’s trusting nature was taken advantage of, that Kaplowitz had signed blank forms with the wrong dates on them, but that he did not do so with the intent to defraud. The prosecution argued that the so-called “robo-signing” for a salary of $1,250 a week, was indeed a deliberate act of fraud.
Tiffany Foster, 49, of Alabama, a former Hollywood Pavilion recruiter, was tried by the same jury for defrauding Medicare by receiving compensation for patient referrals. Foster had not worked at Hollyood Pavilion for a period of 10 years. Her defense attorney, Marshall Dore Louis, argued that Foster had a legitimate marketing position and resigned when Kallen-Zury took over because Foster became suspicious.
Cases of Medicare fraud are on the rise in South Florida and investigations have far-reaching effects. Having a criminal defense lawyer that is able to understand the complexity of such cases is important for anyone involved in such cases, whether directly or indirectly.
Source: www.miamiherald.com, “Jurors convict South Florida psychiatrist and patient recruiter in Medicare Fraud trial” Weaver, Jay, 16 Feb 2015.