He was convicted after trial evidence was presented alleging Bergman and others at Miami-based American Therapeutic Corp. billed Medicare for patients who were ineligible for an intensive program meant to treat severe mental illness, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Some of the patients for whom Medicare was billed included those in neuro-vegetative states, those in the late stages of diseases that cause permanent cognitive memory loss, and those living in halfway houses for substance-abuse issues. Many of the patients were forced by assisted-living facility and halfway-house owners to attend the corporation's programs, according to the DOJ.
Bergman's attorney, Terence Lenamon, said in court filings that his client was not a leader or organizer of the conspiracy but “is being attributed with a loss amount equal to that of the central members of the conspiracy.”
“Unfortunately, Roger was placed into a pool of individuals who were involved in a pretty complicated fraud scheme,” Lenamon said Thursday. “The jury got to hear all of that, and unfortunately, a lot of times there's a guilt by association. The witnesses who testified against him were witnesses who were more culpable than him and doing it to get a deal.”
U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez also ordered Bergman and others to pay more than $85.3 million in restitution.
The corporation, an associated management company, and more than 20 related individuals, have already pleaded guilty or been convicted at trial.
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