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Radiologist pleads guilty to health care fraud

A Rochester-area radiologist accused of defrauding Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, MVP Health Care and Medicare has pleaded guilty to committing health care fraud.

Thomas Stephenson M.D. entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci, U.S. Attorney William Hochul Jr. announced Wednesday. Stephenson faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Stephenson, 72, owned and operated Westside Imaging in Rochester. From January 2007 to April 2010, he engaged in a scheme to defraud Excellus, MVP and Medicare by double-billing certain X-rays. In total, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Field said, Stephenson fraudulently sought reimbursements totaling $135,962.

As the Rochester Business Journal reported last month, Stephenson also was hit with a civil forfeiture suit filed by the U.S. attorney. Stephenson’s criminal docket shows discussions dating to September between his attorneys and federal officials over a global agreement to settle criminal and civil charges against the radiologist.

Sentencing in the criminal case is scheduled for Nov. 6.

(c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail [email protected]

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