A former operator of chiropractic offices in Hicksville and West Hempstead was charged Monday with fraud after officials said he billed a health insurance company for more than $2 million for services that were not performed.
Raymond R. Pellegrino, 50, a chiropractor formerly of East Islip, was arrested Monday by federal agents in McKinney, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort-Worth area, where he had moved. He was charged in connection with defrauding Anthem Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, officials said in a statement and an indictment filed in federal court in Central Islip. The crime occurred between December 2013 and September 2014, officials said.
During that almost 11-year period, Pellegrino hired medical doctors to work part-time in his offices and then billed the insurance company for osteopathic and other medical services “that he knew the doctors had not provided,” Eastern District United States Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement.
The doctors were not aware of the scheme, officials said.
“Pellegrino abused his position as a licensed medical professional by brazenly stealing millions of dollars in fraudulent billings,” Donoghue said in a statement. “Today’s arrest demonstrates the resolve of this office and the FBI to hold accountable health care fraudsters who line their pockets at the expense of insurance companies and, ultimately, consumers, who pay the cost of higher premiums.”
Pellegrino was charged with a single count of health care fraud.
If convicted, Pellegrino faces up to 10 years in prison.
A date for Pellegrino’s arraignment in federal court in Central Islip on the charge has not been set.
An attorney for Pellegrino could not be reached for comment. Eastern District Assistant United States Attorney Charles Kelly declined to comment.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story gave the wrong time frame for the crime.