Columbus, Oh – A Cleveland doctor and the former co-owner of his practice were indicted Oct. 26 on charges related to scamming the workers’ compensation system out of $216,000.
The 170-count indictment returned by a Cuyahoga County grand jury details the findings of an investigation into the actions of Dr. Stephen Bernie, 77, and Dianne Javier, 71, of The Medical Care Group, which has several clinics in Northeast Ohio.
Undercover agents found the pair was defrauding the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation by billing for procedures never performed and inflating the percentage of disability for injured workers, making them eligible for higher payments from the state. Dr. Bernie also wrote prescriptions for medications without examining or monitoring patients, and signed prescriptions for powerful opioids that were distributed while he was on vacation.
Kim Seltzer, a former employee of The Medical Care Group, already pleaded guilty last year to workers’ compensation fraud, tampering with records and drug trafficking. Seltzer is currently serving a 51-month sentence at the Mansfield Correctional Institution.
Bernie and Javier are scheduled to be arraigned in Cuyahoga County on Nov. 9. Their indictment followed a lengthy investigation by BWC and the Westshore Enforcement Bureau, a multi-jurisdictional specialty police force in Northeast Ohio.
Read more about this case in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Source: Ohio BWC SID