A New York federal jury just convicted Harold Bendelstein, 71, of one count of health care fraud and one count of making a false claim. Bendelstein was one of thirteen healthcare professionals indicted in 2018 as part of a National Healthcare Fraud Takedown led by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force.
Bendelstein focused his practice on the area of otolaryngology—the study of diseases of the ear and throat. He practiced out of three offices in the state of New York and many of his patients were residents of assisted living facilities in Brooklyn and Queens. According to evidence presented at trial, Bendelstein billed Medicare and Medicaid approximately $585,000 for surgical procedures he never performed. From January 2014 to February 2018, Bendelstein billed hundreds of patients for an incision procedure of the external ear when, in fact, he only performed ear exams and/or ear wax removal. According to Medicare and Medicaid, Bendelstein was the highest biller in the state of New York for the foregoing procedure. He was paid approximately $191,000 in connection with his scheme.
Bendelstein is scheduled to be sentenced on November 7th, and he faces a maximum of 15 years in federal prison. In June 2022, one doctor and two healthcare professionals also indicted as part of the above-mentioned National Healthcare Fraud Takedown were acquitted of fraudulently billing Medicare for approximately $85 million. In 2019, Hal Abrahamson, another doctor indicted as part of this National Healthcare Fraud Takedown, pleaded guilty to health care fraud, and was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison.
The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection to False Claims Act litigation and health care fraud investigations. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.