(STL.News) – A psychologist with multiple clinic locations throughout Metro Detroit, will spend 51 months in prison for the commission of health care fraud and money laundering offenses, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider announced today.
Joining Schneider in the announcement was Steven M. D’Antuono, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office.
Paul Lucki Smith, 54, was sentenced on January 7, 2020, by U.S District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman after pleading guilty to health care fraud and unlawful monetary transactions.
Smith, a psychologist who practiced for over 20 years at various locations throughout Metro Detroit, submitted claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for reimbursement for services that he did not provide. In three years, Smith fraudulently obtained $3,163,172.92 from Blue Cross Blue Shield. Smith subsequently used hundreds of thousands of dollars from the proceeds of his fraud to purchase real property, liquor licenses, and furniture, in his venture to become a hotelier in Arcadia, Michigan.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, the Court forfeited Smith’s interests in funds tied to the health care fraud and money laundering schemes, liquor licenses, and two pieces of real property. The Court also entered a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $3,163,172.92
The case was investigated by agents of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John Engstrom and Shankar Ramamurthy.