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Bay Shore doctor convicted of fraud and tax evasion

A federal jury in Central Islip convicted a Bay Shore physician Friday of conspiring and carrying out a multimillion-dollar health care fraud and for income tax evasion, a federal prosecutor said.

The jury in U.S. District Court convicted Dr. Frank Lobacz after deliberating for five hours Friday, their first full day of deliberations after receiving the judge's charge Wednesday afternoon, said Demetri Jones, deputy chief of the Long Island division of the Eastern District of New York.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Canty, who prosecuted the case with Assistant U.S. Attorney James Miskiewicz, said at the trial's opening Oct. 19 that Lobacz looted his employees' pension fund, using it as his "personal piggy bank," and evaded income taxes on the money he made through his illegal actions and his financial investments.

According to court papers, Lobacz was accused of filing $800,000 worth of false health insurance claims and failed to report more than $1 million in income.

Neither Lobacz nor his attorney, Barry Pittman of Bay Shore, could be reached Friday night.

Pittman had argued in court that his client was innocent, a victim of a combination of actions by some of his office staff, a physician he hired to work for him, his accountant and his stock brokers. Pittman also said the actions Lobacz was charged with occurred between 2000 and 2008, a time when the attorney said Lobacz was seriously ill with heart problems that continue.

Jones said U.S. District Court Judge Denis Hurley remanded Lobacz to custody following the verdict because Lobacz had failed to appear in court during the first day of jury selection, and his whereabouts were not known for a few days.

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