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Sixth Circuit Affirms Conviction and Sentence of Anesthesiologist for Fraud and Endangering Patients

On December 1, 2009, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the conviction of Dr. Jorge A. Martinez, an anesthesiologist, who was charged with illegally distributing controlled substances, mail fraud, wire fraud, and healthcare fraud, including two counts that resulted in the death of patients.

In 2002, the FBI began investigating Dr. Martinez’s pain-management clinic in Parma, OH in response to reimbursement and billing patterns placing him above his peers for certain procedures. At trial, the government alleged that from 1998 until 2004, Dr. Martinez engaged in fraud and endangered patients by administering far more injections than his peers and seeing more patients more day than other physicians in Ohio. The government also demonstrated that two patient deaths were reasonably foreseeable consequences of Dr. Martinez’s fraudulent treatment.

In addition to upholding Dr. Martinez’s conviction, the appeals court also upheld his sentence for life imprisonment and over $14 million in restitution.

The full text of the case can be read here: U.S. v. Martinez.pdf

For more information on compliance or audit defense, please contact Abby Pendleton, Esq. at (248) 996-8510, or visit HLP’s page on Anesthesia and Pain.

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