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Post date: November 16 2015

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Conviction Of Dutchess County Doctor Who Illegally Practiced Medicine

Jeanine Santiago Sent Nurse To Treat Homebound Patients And Prescribe Medication

Schneiderman: Doctors Who Allow Unqualified Personnel to Performed Physician Responsibilities Will Be Held Accountable

PEARL RIVER – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that a Dutchess County jury has found Dr. Jeanine Santiago, 53, of Wappinger, N.Y. a medical doctor, guilty of three counts of Unauthorized Practice of a Profession: Medicine, and one count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree.

“Doctors have an obligation to care for their patients and to not substitute unqualified personnel to perform physician services,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will hold accountable doctors who send an assistant to perform services that can only be performed by a professional who is properly trained and licensed to provide such treatment.”

Santiago was charged in a twenty-count indictment with Grand Larceny in the Second and Fourth Degrees, Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and, along with registered nurse Wendy Potter, Unauthorized Practice A Crime (Medicine). Evidence presented at trial showed that between 2008 and 2013, Santiago operated under the name “Physicians Who Make House Calls,” treating elderly and infirm homebound patients in Dutchess County. The jury, after a three-week trial before the Honorable David F. Everett, by its verdict, found Santiago guilty of sending a nurse to treat homebound patients and to prescribe medications to the patients, using blank prescriptions signed and provided by Santiago.  The jury also found Santiago guilty of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree for filing a false claim with Medicaid for services that she represented that a doctor provided. 

As a result of the jury’s guilty verdict, Santiago faces up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison, revocation of her license to practice medicine and mandatory exclusion from participating in the Medicaid and Medicare programs.

The charges were brought after a joint investigation with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, (HHS-OIG) and the New York State Police.  The Attorney General thanked the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement for its assistance during the investigation.   

The investigation was conducted by Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) Special Investigator Peter Olsen and Senior Investigator Frank Bluszcz, along with Special Auditors/Investigators John Annunziata and Christopher Giacoia with the assistance of Investigator Peter Markiewicz, Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan and Regional Chief Auditor John Regan.  Special Auditor Investigator Melissa Stoebling assisted with the trial.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General William McClarnon and Todd Pettigrew with the assistance of Regional Director Anne Jardine. Thomas O’Hanlon is MFCU’s Chief of Criminal Investigations – Downstate.  MFCU is led by Acting Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul Mahoney.  The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan. 

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