Federal jury convicts Natick Massachusetts man of $27 million Medicare fraud

A federal jury convicted a Natick man of defrauding Medicare of $27 million. Michael J. Galatos, 63 was convicted on 10 counts of health care fraud and 7 counts of money laundering for arranging home health care to be provided to patients who were homebound, except according to the indictment, they weren’t really homebound.Authorities say Galatis and his partner, Janice Troisi, 65, of Everett, owned At Home VNA of Waltham.

Galatis and Troisi ran wellness clinics at senior housing centers and assisted living facilities and targeted people on Medicare. The indictment alleges Galatis and Troisi falsified nursing visit reports to make it appear the patients received skilled nursing services that, evidence showed, were not needed or provided.Galatis and Troisi also “discouraged” visiting nurses from discharging patients, even if the patients requested they stop. They would ¬†also retaliate against nurses who recommended discharge and transfer the patient to another nurse, the indictment said. During the course of the conspiracy, AHVNA (At Home VNA) submitted more than $27 million in false and fraudulent home health claims to Medicare, the indictment said.Troisi is scheduled to go to trial on June 22.

A co-conspirator, Dr. Spencer Wilking of Concord, previously pleaded guilty to health care fraud. He worked as the At Home VNA as the paid medical director and signed the home health orders for the patients while their primary care physicians knew nothing about it.Galatis is scheduled to return to federal court for sentencing Feb. 26. He faces 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 and restitution to Medicare. Wilkings is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 3.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers