Detroit-area physician faces nearly 4 years in prison for fraud

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U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts has sentenced Laran Lerner, MD, to 45 months in prison for his role in a $5.7 million Medicare fraud scheme, according to the Department of Justice.

In August, Dr. Lerner pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud and one count of structuring cash transactions to avoid bank reporting requirements.

According to admissions made as part of his plea agreement, Dr. Lerner prescribed medically unnecessary controlled substances to patients. Through the scheme, Medicare was billed more than $5.7 million for unnecessary prescriptions, diagnostic tests and office visits. Dr. Lerner admitted the controlled substances were used to facilitate and conceal his scheme to steal from the Medicare program, according to the DOJ.

In addition to his prison sentence, Dr. Lerner was ordered to pay nearly $2.8 million in restitution. He also agreed to permanently surrender his Drug Enforcement Administration controlled substance registration.

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