A New York orthopedic surgeon was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail Friday for one count of healthcare fraud after admitting to both botching and faking thousands of surgical procedures over the course of five years.
Dr. Spyros Panos will pay a fine of $250,000 and surrender any and all medical licenses not currently suspended. Furthermore, he will fork over $5 million in restitution to the federal government for falsifying Medicare charges.
Panos, who practiced at Mid-Hudson Medical Group in Poughkeepsie, NY was sentenced in a federal court in nearby White Plains. Several of his alleged victims were in attendance at Friday’s court proceedings. They listened as a remorseful Panos apologized and accepted responsibility for his actions.
The healthcare fraud charge stems from the fact that Panos (knowingly) submitted false information to health insurance providers and Medicare that led to millions in payments to him.
According to a recent ABC News article, more than 260 patients have filed civil suits against Panos.
The article also quoted a letter the disgraced orthopedic surgeon submitted to the court in advance of the sentencing hearing. The letter explained why Panos filed false insurance claims.
“I wish I could tell you I had noble motives for this -- but I did not. I did this out of greed and insecurity... The influx of money I was bringing into Mid-Hudson increased my pay and earned me the admiration of my fellow shareholders. It was as simple as that.”