Stamford podiatrist pleads guilty to making false medical claims

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A Stamford podiatrist pleaded guilty Monday in Hartford Federal Court to submitting false medical claims.

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that Amira Mantoura, of Greenwich, waived her right to indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Medicare program. In doing so, Mantoura admitted that she submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Mantoura, a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, operates a podiatry practice at 95 Morgan Street in Stamford. As a podiatrist, she was fully aware and understood the procedure to perform a “nail avulsion” and she understood that a nail avulsion was a surgical procedure to treat an ingrown toenail. Between Jan.  2009 and Aug.  2013, Mantoura knowingly submitted materially false claims to the Medicare program and to private insurance companies to obtain payment for a nail avulsion when she knew that she had not performed a nail avulsion. Rather than perform a nail avulsion, in most of these instances Mantoura had merely provided her patients with routine foot care including clipping the patients’ toenails.

As a result of submitting false claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs and private insurance companies, Mantoura was paid approximately $195,000.

Mantoura is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea on Dec. 28, 2015, at which time she faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum fine of more than $380,000 and an order of restitution.

In a related civil settlement, Mantoura has paid $288,538.24 to the government in connection with her submission of false claims to the Medicare and Medicaid program. On Oct. 1, 2015, she was excluded from the Medicare program and will no longer be permitted to submit federal health care claims.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Richard J. Schechter, and the civil settlement was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne F. Thidemann.

Individuals who suspect health care fraud should report it by calling the Health Care Fraud Task Force at (203) 777-6311 or 1-800-HHS-TIPS.

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