Proctorville man sentenced for health care fraud

A southern Ohio man was sentenced Monday in federal court in Huntington, West Virginia, to three years of probation for health care fraud.

Joshua Petrie, 36, of Proctorville, had previously pleaded guilty to the crime in September of 2015.

Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto, said in 2009 and 2010, Petrie admitted that he worked as a sales representative and fitter for several out-of-state companies that sold and distributed back and knee braces from a medical practice in West Virginia.

Casto said Petrie created fraudulent documents falsely showing that he provided braces to patients. The falsified documents included a certification from a physician indicating that the physician had ordered the braces for individual Medicare patients.

In order to further the scheme, she said Petrie used a copy of the physician’s signature instead of an original signature.

The fraudulent documents also included a delivery ticket with a signature line for patients to acknowledge receipt of the braces.

Casto said Petrie forged patients’ signatures to the delivery tickets to make it appear that patients had actually received the braces. Petrie was paid in part based on the amount of his sales and therefore received additional income for each sale that he falsified.

The fraudulent paperwork was used to illegally bill Medicare for approximately $38,000.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General and the West Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Eric Bacaj and Meredith George Thomas are handling the prosecution.

Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence.

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.