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Post date: July 28 2005

Unlicensed Brooklyn Physical Therapist Bilks Government And Insurers Out Of $1.3 Million

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that an Albany County grand jury has indicted a Brooklyn man on charges of defrauding the government and private insurance companies of more than $1.3 million by performing physical therapy services without a license for more than five years.

Cosmas Legrand, 56, of 165 East 19th Street in Brooklyn, was arraigned on July 26th in Albany County Court on a two-count indictment, charging him with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree. If convicted, he faces up to fifteen years in prison.

According to prosecutors, Legrand was hired as an independent contractor by Family Care Certified Services of Brooklyn/Queens in January 1997 after he submitted forged certificates purporting to show that he was a licensed physical therapist. The indictment charges that Legrand submitted, on an ongoing basis, activity reports to Family Care, specifying the services he performed as a "licensed" physical therapist. Based on these false representations, Family Care filed reimbursement claims with Medicaid, Medicare and other third-party payors for his work as a therapist. As a result, between January 1997 and May 2004, Family Care received in excess of $1.3 million for physical therapy services to which neither it nor Legrand was entitled. Legrand received more than $800,000 as his proceeds of the scheme.

The Attorney General thanked the state Departments of Education and Health for their assistance in this investigation.

Special Assistant Attorney General Jay Speers, of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Special Project Division, is prosecuting the case. Supervising Investigator Peter Markiewicz, Special Investigators Wayne Rivers and Carlos Miranda, and Special Auditor Investigator Karin Blaut assisted in the investigation.

The charges against Legrand are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.