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Lawrence doctor sentenced for stealing insurance payments from Beth Israel Medical Center

A Lawrence doctor was sentenced to 6 months in jail, 5 years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service Thursday for stealing patient insurance payments from a Manhattan hospital and failing to pay appropriate taxes, state officials said.

Lawrence J. Levitan, 58, of 37 Auerbach Lane, an obstetrician and gynecologist who once worked at Beth Israel Medical Center, had pleaded guilty in February to two counts of third-degree grand larceny -- one for theft from the hospital, the other for theft of unwarranted refunds from the state Department of Taxation and Finance, officials said.

Levitan was sentenced in Supreme Court in Manhattan, where he also made $64,495 in restitution, the full amount of his personal income tax, plus penalties and interest.

Officials said that while working at Beth Israel, Levitan was "required to split $530,000 worth of insurance payments for patient services" with the hospital, but instead deposited all insurance payments for 706 of his patients into his personal bank account. That resulted in a theft of about $267,000, officials said.

Because of the resulting inaccurate records, officials said Beth Israel "underreported his taxable wages" in both 2010 and 2011, allowing Levitan to receive income tax refunds he was not entitled to collect.

His attorney, Michael Miller of Manhattan, could not be immediately reached for comment.


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