Hudson Valley Man Steals Nearly $1 Million Impersonating Doctor
A Hudson Valley man admitted he impersonated a doctor, obtaining nearly $1 million.
On Thursday, 52-year-old Spyros Panos of Hopewell Junction, New York, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of health care fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.
“Spyros Panos, a former surgeon who surrendered his medical license after a prior conviction in this District for health care fraud, has admitted to committing health care fraud again, this time by impersonating a licensed doctor. Now, for a second time, Panos awaits sentencing for his criminal conduct," Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said
Panos, a former orthopedic surgeon, who was previously convicted of health care fraud, pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud, health care fraud, and aggravated identity theft, in connection with a scheme in which he assumed the identity of a licensed orthopedic surgeon and obtained over $876,000 in payments for reviewing patient files in connection with healthcare appeals and Workers Compensation cases.
Panos, an unlicensed physician, perpetrated a scheme to defraud medical peer review companies by impersonating a licensed orthopedic surgeon practicing in Westchester County, Among other things, he submitted the Westchester County doctor's credentials to peer review companies and conducted peer reviews using the doctor’s name and credentials. During the course of the scheme, he defrauded the peer review companies of $876,389.97.
In connection with his plea, he agreed to forfeit $876,389.97 and to pay restitution in the same amount. He's scheduled to be sentenced in March.
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.