2 Connecticut physicians settle false claims allegations for $4.9M

Husband-and-wife physician partners Crispin Abarientos, MD, and Antonieta Abarientos, MD, agreed to pay $4.9 million to resolve false claims allegations involving fraudulent prescription claims and double-billing, according to the Justice Department.

Dr. Crispin Abarientos, a rheumatologist, and Dr. Antonieta Abarientos, a primary care physician, owned Middlesex Rheumatology in Middletown, Conn., where Dr. Crispin Abarientos served as treating physician. They agreed to settle allegations that Dr. Crispin Abarientos submitted false claims to Medicaid for a specific rheumatoid arthritis medication for Medicaid patients. He allegedly was able to obtain this drug for free through this process. Dr. Crispin Abarientos then allegedly administered the drug to patients with Medicare or the state employee health plan, doubly submitting a claim for the drug to those payers.

Dr. Crispin Abarientos also pleaded guilty to fraud in a related case. He was sentenced in October to more than three years in prison.

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