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East Setauket man stole more than $400G in insurance fraud scheme, prosecutors say

Joseph Basile, 50, of East Setauket.

Joseph Basile, 50, of East Setauket. Credit: SCPD

The former office manager for a doctor's office was indicted on 70 counts accusing him of billing insurers $3.8 million for medical services that were never provided and forging his former employer's signature on checks, Suffolk authorities said Thursday.

Joseph Basile, 50, of East Setauket, stole more than $400,000 from Empire BlueCross BlueShield and John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson in an insurance fraud scheme that went on  from January 2014 through July 2016, according to the Suffolk district attorney's office.

Basile had been employed as the office manager for a Port Jefferson colorectal surgeon, but the doctor's business closed in 2013 and in his new administrative job at Mather Hospital the surgeon stopped seeing patients, authorities said.

Basile filed fraudulent insurance claims on behalf of himself and others for services, including colorectal surgeries, and listed his former employer as the doctor, prosecutors said. He signed for the checks and put them in his own accounts, prosecutors said.

“This was an act of pure greed,” District Attorney Timothy D. Sini said in a news release. “He used his knowledge of the health care insurance system to illegally pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars, money that would have otherwise been used to care for people who were sick and in need.”

Prosecutors said Basile also filed fraudulent insurance claims on behalf of another person whose health care is provided through a local school bus drivers' union fund. Basile allegedly stole more than $3,000.

He was charged with several felonies: first-degree insurance fraud, three counts of second-degree healthcare fraud, two counts of second-degree grand larceny, third-degree health care fraud, third-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud and 61 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Basile was released on a $50,000 bond. A spokesman for the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, which represents him, could not be immediately reached Thursday.

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