Four New York chiropractors — including one from Woodmere — were part of a group of 92 individuals charged nationally with falsely billing the Medicare and Medicaid programs for about $432 million, federal officials said Thursday.
The chiropractors — Melvin Cwibeker, 52 of Woodmere; Richard Hurwitz, 42, of Long Beach; Shimon Metz, 42, of West Hempstead; and Mark Samuel, 52, of Mamaroneck — were indicted for committing Medicare fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Cwibeker, whose practice is also in Woodmere, has also been charged with money laundering, engaging in unlawful monetary transactions and obstructing a federal audit.
All four pleaded not guilty to the charges on Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Central Islip.
According to the indictment, the defendants allegedly met patients — many of whom were elderly and had physical and mental disabilities — that were residing in assisted living facilities. They apparently did not treat the patients, but still submitted $6.4 million in fraudulent billings over a six-year period to Medicare, the indictment says.
“In 2010, when the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) informed Cwibeker that it was auditing his chiropractic practice, Cwibeker allegedly obstructed the CMS audit by creating and submitting fictitious medical records,” an FBI release says.