June 9, 2017

Fraudster of the Week — Danielle Faux, Physical Therapist

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

On Monday, Danielle Faux, a physical therapist from Connecticut, was sentenced to two years of probation, the first six months of which must be spent in home confinement, for obstruction and tax fraud offenses.  Faux—whose name is French for “false”—separately settled a related civil matter in which she agreed to pay $50,000 to resolve allegations that she falsely billed Medicare in violation of the False Claims Act.

Faux, who owns and operates a physical therapy clinic, was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2014, and was initially charged with 46 counts of health care fraud and one count of obstruction of a federal audit.  In 2016, she pleaded guilty to the obstruction count and to making a false statement on a federal income tax return.  As part of her guilty plea, Faux admitted to skimming checks and cash proceeds from her physical therapy practice and failing to declare those proceeds on her federal income tax returns.

The government first caught wind of Faux’s illegal activity in 2009, when a Medicare contractor conducting an audit of Faux’s physical therapy practice noticed irregularities.  When the auditor requested the supporting records for 40 claims for physical therapy that Faux had submitted to Medicare, Faux instructed one of her employees to falsify detailed notes in patients’ files.

Through her various schemes, Faux avoided paying more than $70k in taxes over a four year period, and received thousands of dollars in reimbursements from Medicare to which she was not entitled.  Ultimately, she got off easy—she faced up to five years in prison.

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