Former Podiatrist Sentenced in Fraud Scheme


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 20, 2000

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today the sentencing of a Pikesville podiatrist, Steven A. Brownstein, 52, on his insurance fraud conviction. Brownstein, who had previously lost his license to practice podiatry, pleaded guilty to charges that he fraudulently billed insurers for services rendered at his Essex and Lansdowne clinics. Citing his cooperation in the State's investigation as a major factor in her sentence, the Honorable Barbara Kerr Howe sentenced Brownstein to three years incarceration, which was suspended in favor of five years probation. He must perform 500 hours of community service and make restitution in the amount of $47,522.65 as special conditions of probation. He pleaded guilty to charges of insurance fraud and conspiracy, both of which carry maximum sentences of 15 years.

In April 1995, Brownstein took over the management of two podiatry clinics owned by Norman Greenberg, a podiatrist who lost his license that month. Brownstein agreed to be medical director of Greenberg's clinics and was responsible for treating patients and billing. From April 1995 through December 1996, Brownstein’s office submitted bills to insurers and third party administrators who were affiliated with the Alliance preferred provider network. These bills routinely listed Greenberg as the treating physician, even though he was unlicenced. This was done to maximize profitably as Greenberg was not an Alliance provider and would be reimbursed at a higher rate than Brownstein, a participant in the Alliance program. In addition, Brownstein submitted numerous bills for surgeries that listed he and Greenberg as the surgeon, even though Greenberg was not licensed at the time. The investigation revealed that Brownstein billed approximately $150,000 in services where Greenberg was listed as a care provider, resulting in payments of $113,440. Brownstein also billed insurers for facility fees for services rendered at the Greenberg clinics knowing these clinics weren’t certified ambulatory surgical facilities.

"Mr. Brownstein stole from insurers and administrators as he manipulated the system for his own financial benefit," General Curran said. "He submitted these fraudulent bills for nearly two years and, as in the vast majority of fraud cases, it eventually caught up with him."

The case was investigated and prosecuted by the Attorney General's Criminal Investigations Division and the Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration. The Insurance Fraud Division, which is staffed by investigators from the Insurance Administration, troopers from the State Police and prosecutors from the Attorney General's Office, is a unit responsible for investigating fraudulent insurance acts in this State.


Media inquiries: Sean Caine (410) 576-6357