For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: November 22, 2011
Applebaum Sentenced for Medicaid Provider Fraud
(Boise) – Dr. Michael Applebaum, a former licensed psychiatrist with an office in Nampa, was sentenced yesterday for provider fraud and obstruction of an investigation, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Third District Judge Gregory Culet sentenced Applebaum to two to five years in prison. The court retained jurisdiction for 365 days and ordered Applebaum into immediate custody.
In August, after a 12-day trial, a jury convicted Applebaum of two counts of provider fraud and two counts of obstruction of an investigation. He was found not guilty of one count of provider fraud and one count of insurance fraud. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on one remaining count of insurance fraud.
Applebaum was found guilty of writing progress notes, documenting and billing for individual psychotherapy for a child who could not communicate, and whose mother had brought the child to him for medication management. Applebaum admitted to billing an employee’s work as his own, which resulted in a higher payment to his office than would have been received otherwise.
The two counts of obstruction of investigation included Applebaum altering documents before providing them to Office of Attorney General investigators, and falsely telling the investigators that certain records were not in the office, as they were out for dictation.
The case was investigated by the Office of Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and a special agent with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. Agents from the DEA, FDA and officers with the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office and the Nampa Police Department were instrumental in the simultaneous service of search warrants.
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