The former owner of a Hicksville medical company who had been a federal fugitive for 11 years was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison Monday for his role in a multimillion-dollar health care fraud scheme.
Etienne Allonce, 56, a Haitian citizen who had been on a federal Most Wanted list before he was captured in his native Haiti in 2018, also was ordered to make $4.4 million in restitution by U.S. Circuit Court Judge Joseph Bianco at a telephonic hearing in federal court in Central Islip.
In addition, Bianco said Allonce probably would be deported after he serves his sentence, but as long as he remains in the United States, he should serve two years' supervised release.
Because he has been in custody for 26 months, Allonce will have at most 10 months remaining on his sentence.
Before he was sentenced, Allonce said: "I would like to apologize to the court and to the families of those affected by the scheme. In my time in the [federal jail in Brooklyn], I’ve learned a lot. I can promise you, I don’t think that I will ever be in this situation again."
After the sentencing, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Seth DuCharme said: "Allonce ran, but ultimately could not hide from the consequences of fleecing Medicare and Medicaid out of millions of dollars at taxpayers’ expenses … . The defendant may have delayed the inevitable, but he has now faced justice for breaking the law."
Allonce and his wife, Michel, were co-owners of a Hicksville company, Medical Solutions Management, that sold medical equipment and supplies to nursing homes.
In 2007, they were both indicted in a complex fraud scheme in which Michel Allonce would pose as a medical professional — either a doctor, nurse practitioner, wound-care specialist or medical supplier — and enter more than a dozen nursing homes, according to officials. There, she would steal confidential information, such as Social Security and Medicare numbers, from patients’ files.
The couple would then use the information to submit false bills to the government programs for wound-care supplies, officials said.
Michel Allonce was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2013 for her role in the scheme, but Etienne Allonce fled the country before he could be arrested. He had been placed on the Most Wanted list of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services before he was captured.
In the sentencing, Bianco, Allonce's defense attorney, federal public defender Randi Chavis, and Eastern District prosecutor Charles Kelly noted that Allonce’s wife was the mastermind of the scheme and its most active participant, which was why her husband received a markedly lower sentence.