A Cleveland physician was sentenced earlier this month to two years in prison and ordered to pay $340,000 after pleading guilty to criminal fraud charges, the U.S. attorney in Cleveland said.
John Lonergan, M.D., 57, a former emergency room physician who operated a medical practice called House Calls Ltd., apparently did what his practice name implied-made limited house calls. Criminal indictments charged that from 1999 to 2001, Lonergan falsely billed Medicare and Medicaid for house calls he failed to make. He also billed for services that stretched beyond 24 hours in a single day and charged higher private house-call rates when he was actually visiting patients in group homes or having patients visit his home. He also charged for services delivered by unlicensed providers.
In addition to pleading to healthcare and mail fraud, Lonergan falsified his tax returns, reported portions of his income on the tax returns of two others without their knowledge and created a sham corporation to hide income. Lonergan also was sentenced to 180 hours of community service and three years of supervised release once he completes his sentence.