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LI doctor sentenced to 1 year, 1 day in clinic scam, officials say

A doctor from Valley Stream was sentenced Tuesday to one year and a day for posing as the owner of two Brooklyn clinics in a scam that cheated Medicaid and Medicare out of $30 million, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan.

Ewald J. Antoine, 67, will have to pay more than $1.8 million in restitution after pleading guilty in January to health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud, officials said. He was ordered to give up $269,412 in profits gained from the scam and undergo three years of post-prison supervision.

Antoine had signed documents saying he was the sole owner of Sunlight Medical and Psychiatric Services, P.C., and Coney Island Medical Services, P.C., and faked documents to support fraudulent reimbursement claims, prosecutors said. He signed medical charts falsely stating he had examined patients, wrote prescriptions, and made referrals for medically unnecessary tests and for tests that were not done, officials said.

In reality, the two clinics and four others in Brooklyn were illegally owned and operated by businessman Aleksandr Burman between 2007 and 2013, authorities said. State law allows only medical professionals to own medical businesses, so Burman, who is not a doctor, hired doctors to pose as the owners, prosecutors said. 

Antoine is the eighth defendant and second doctor sentenced in the Burman scheme, officials said. 

Burman was sentenced in May to 10 years in prison in a related health care fraud case, in which he and others gave cash kickbacks to elderly and financially disadvantaged patients to get medically unnecessary services and supplies and to bill Medicaid and Medicare for services and supplies that were not provided, prosecutors said.

“The Medicare and Medicaid programs are intended to provide essential medical services to the elderly and the needy, not to enrich corrupt doctors and other fraudsters," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said. "The real victims in this case are U.S. taxpayers and needy patients with legitimate medical needs."

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