Gynecologist pleads guilty to Medicaid fraud

September 30, 1992|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

A Towson doctor pleaded guilty Monday to bilking Medicaid of $115,646 by falsely claiming he had delivered babies for 121 indigent women, the state attorney general's office reported.

Dr. Carter J. Williams, 42, an obstetrician and gynecologist, reported to Medicaid that he had delivered the babies at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson, even though the Timonium resident was frequently nowhere near the hospital or Baltimore during the births.

"On one occasion, Williams billed for the delivery of a baby at [GBMC] when he was at a medical conference in New York City," the attorney general's office said in a statement.

In each case, the delivery was actually performed by GBMC staff doctors who Williams knew did not submit bills to Medicaid, prosecutors said.

Williams pleaded guilty in Baltimore County Circuit Court to charges of Medicaid fraud and obstruction of justice. Sentencing is set for Dec. 1.

He faces up to five years in jail and $20,000 in fines and is expected to have to pay back the money he obtained, prosecutors said.

In February, Williams' former girlfriend, Patricia Peterson, pleaded guilty to obstructing justice by helping the doctor falsify billing records.

She testified the doctor would go to GBMC, where he practiced, and find a patient on Medicaid who had delivered a baby at the hands of the staff doctors.

Williams then "extracted sufficient medical information from the records to submit fraudulent bills to the Medicaid program alleging that he had delivered the babies," prosecutors said.

Peterson told investigators that Williams appeared to enjoy his scheme and once declared, "This is the easiest money I ever made," officials said.

But the operation got sloppy, to the extent that the doctor once billed for a single delivery when the mother actually had delivered twins, prosecutors said. In another billing, he asserted he had performed a vaginal delivery on behalf of a woman who had undergone a Caesarean section, authorities said.

The conviction is the latest by the attorney general's Medicaid Fraud Unit, which has convicted 40 fraud artists and recovered nearly $1.5 million in restitution to Medicaid since 1990.

Among the unit's convictions are a former Clifton T. Perkins psychiatrist who claimed he performed psychotherapy he never had, a Towson pharmacist who billed for prescriptions he never wrote and a taxi driver who collected for chauffeuring sick people who didn't exist.

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. said the Medicaid program, which was established to render medical assistance to the poor, recently suffered severe budget cutbacks. "This $115,000 stolen from the Medicaid program is $115,000 less we now have to provide medical care to our poor," Mr. Curran said in a written statement. "The type of greed exhibited by Carter Williams will not be tolerated."

Williams, reached at his Timonium home, referred all questions to his lawyer, who couldn't be reached.

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