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Post date: March 2 2006

Former Watkins Glen Pharmacist Pleads Guilty To

Attorney General Spitzer and Acting United States Attorney Kathleen M. Mehltretter announced that the former owner of a Watkins Glen pharPopemacy, pleaded guilty in separate state and federal proceedings to stealing nearly $2 million from Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance companies.

Glenn Mathews, 46 of Horseheads, appeared on March 2 before Schuyler County Court Judge J. C. Argetsinger, and pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class "C" felony. He admitted that for a three-year period beginning in January of 2000 he billed for medicines he never dispensed. Sentencing in the state matter is scheduled for June 2, 2006. He is expected to receive 1 2/3 to 5 years in prison for his offenses pursuant to his plea agreements, to be served concurrently with any federally imposed sentence.

In federal court, Mathews pleaded guilty before United States District Court Judge Michael A. Telesca to one count of health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347, and one count of money laundering in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956. Sentencing in the federal case was scheduled for June 1, 2006.

"The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is committed to ensuring that patients and taxpayers are protected from those who seek to defraud the health care system," said Spitzer. "I want to thank Acting U.S. Attorney Mehltretter and the federal agencies that worked with our office in this effort to fight health care fraud."

Ms. Mehltretter said: "The recovery in this case results from the government's continuing effort to combat improper health insurance claims on behalf of the United States' taxpayers. The Government is committed to recovery of scarce health care dollars for Medicare, Medicaid, and private sector beneficiaries. "

As part of his guilty pleas, Mathews agreed to waive and relinquish any rights or claims to approximately $1.3 million assets already seized by authorities, repay an additional $125,000 in cash and execute a judgment for $500,000. Mathews is expected to receive a 55-month prison sentence, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years on the federal charges

The plea resulted from an investigation conducted jointly by the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State Attorney General Office's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The state case is being prosecuted by Jerry Solomon, Rochester Regional Director of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The investigation was conducted by Special Investigators Neil Davis, Doug Hinchey and Robert Andrews and Associate Auditor/Investigator Jamie Russell.

The federal prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Frank H. Sherman, assisted by Shawn Eldridge, Theresa Tetlow of the U. S. Attorney's Office, Cindy Pangallo of the Office of the Inspector General, Pat Rinow of the U. S. Food and Drug Administration and Jarod Koopman of the Internal Revenue Service.