Former Hudson Valley Doctor Accused of Stealing Nearly $1 Million
A former Hudson Valley doctor is accused of stealing another doctor's identity to earn nearly a million dollars.
On Tuesday, 49-year-old Spyros Panos, a former orthopedic surgeon, who was previously convicted of health care fraud, was charged with wire fraud, health care fraud and aggravated identity theft, in connection with an alleged scheme in which he assumed the identity of a licensed orthopedic surgeon and obtained over $860,000 in payments for reviewing patient files in Workers Compensation cases.
Panos was arrested early Tuesday morning at his home in Hopewell Junction.
Panos is accused of reviewing Workers Compensation cases under the name of a Westchester physician. The physician did not authorize Panos or anyone else to use the credentials to conduct peer reviews and did not receive any of the review company's fees.
In October 2013, the Hopewell Junction orthopedic surgeon pleaded guilty to a health care fraud charge. In April 2014, he was sentenced to 54 months in prison. In September 2016, he was released to a halfway house and then, about a month later, to home confinement.
Prior to his sentencing, a company called Excel O LLC was formed, registered to a family member of Panos who wasn't a licensed physician, officials say.
According to the indictment:
- In December 2013, about six months before Panos surrendered to serve his prison sentence, an account in the name of Excel O was opened at a local credit union under the same family member's name.
- Checks totaling over $239,000 were issued by five review companies, made out to Excel O LLC or Excel Orthopedics.
- The checks were deposited into the Excel O bank account.
- In December 2016, approximately two months after Panos was released from prison, a second Excel O account was opened at the same credit union under the same family member's name.
- Over $636,500 in checks were issued by the five review companies, made out to Excel O LLC or Excel Orthopedics.
- The checks were deposited into the second Excel O bank account.
If found guilty, Panos faces up to 20 years in prison.
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