Hospital executives given many year prison sentences for Medicare fraud

Christopher Gabel, 62, the former chief operating officer of the Hollywood Pavilion hospital was sentenced to 6 years in prison. He also must pay more than $39.3 million in restitution. The jail sentence was for his role resulting in $67 million in fraudulent Medicare claims. The prison sentence is highly unusual for an executive of a hospital or other medical facility and shows the seriousness with which the federal government is viewing Medicare fraud.

Pavilion employees submitted claims to Medicare for treatment of patients which was never provided, authorities said. Gabel confessed to being aware of the scheme, while he supervised the inpatient and outpatient facilities. The investigation revealed that the hospital located Medicare beneficiaries from across the country by paying bribes and kickbacks to “patient brokers”, authorities said. He plead guilty to accusations that included instructing the patients’ brokers to falsify invoices.

Karen Kallen-Zury, Daisy Miller, Michele Petrie, and Christian Coloma were also convicted at trial in June 2013 for their roles in this scheme, says the Department of Justice

Kallen-Zury, HP’s former chief executive officer, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Miller, the clinical director of HP’s inpatient facility, was sentenced to 15 years in prison; and Petrie, the head of HP’s intensive outpatient program, was sentenced to six years in prison.

Coloma, the director of physical therapy for an entity associated with HP, was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Kallen-Zury, Miller and Petrie were ordered to pay nearly $40 million in restitution, and Coloma was ordered to pay more than $20 million in restitution.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.