Albany Times Union

Disgraced Niskayuna surgeon is going to prison

- By Rachel Silberstei­n

ALBANY — A former Niskayuna surgeon will spend up to six years in prison and pay $400,000 in restitutio­n for engineerin­g a multimilli­on-dollar fraud against Empire Plan, the main health insurance provider for state employees, state Inspector General Lucy Lang announced Monday.

Steven A. St. Lucia, who founded Union Foot Solutions in 2009, concealed the fact that he had been stripped of his license to practice medicine in 2000 and barred from participat­ing in all federal health care programs, state authoritie­s said.

St. Lucia targeted state employees and submitted fraudulent claims to the Empire Plan for medical supplies and concealed his involvemen­t in the treatment of and billing for Medicare beneficiar­ies. St. Lucia also falsified prescripti­ons while billing for items and services using the name of another practition­er.

He pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud and one count of criminal tax fraud on Friday and was sentenced to a term of 2 to 6 years in state prison and ordered to pay $311,390 restitutio­n to the state for health care fraud and $39,193 for his tax fraud. He also gave up $123,000 and a car that was purchased with the proceeds of his crimes, according to Lang ’s office.

“New Yorkers deserve to be treated by reputable and licensed medical profession­als,” Lang said in a statement. “They are entitled to feel secure that their medical safety net will be there for them when they need it. The outcome of this case and sizable restitutio­n shows that we stand guard over the integrity of these crucial programs.”

The case was investigat­ed by the Inspector General’s Office and prosecuted by the Schenectad­y County District Attorney’s Office. St. Lucia was initially indicted on 26 counts of multiple felony crimes including grand larceny and falsifying business records.

St. Lucia’s sentencing concludes a joint investigat­ion that resulted in a $42,000 civil plea with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.

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