March 20, 2023

Health Care Fraud Investigation Results in Restitution

IG Investigation Secures Nearly $400,000 in Restitution from Health Care Fraud Scheme


ALBANY – New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang announced the sentencing of Steven A. St. Lucia, founder of Union Foot Solutions for engineering a multi-million-dollar fraud against a New York State employee health insurance plan resulting in restitution of nearly $400,000.

St. Lucia founded Union Foot Solutions in 2009, concealing that he had been stripped of his license to practice medicine in 2000 and barred from participating in all federal health care programs. St. Lucia’s misrepresentations allowed him to target state employees and submit fraudulent claims to the Empire Plan for medical supplies and conceal his involvement in the treatment of and billing for Medicare beneficiaries. St. Lucia also falsified prescriptions while billing for items and services using the name of another practitioner.

As a result of his conduct, St. Lucia pled guilty to one count of Health Care Fraud in the 2nd degree (C felony) and one count of Criminal Tax Fraud in the 3rd degree (D felony), and on Friday, March 17, 2023, was sentenced to a term of 2 to 6 years in state prison. He was also ordered to pay $311,390 restitution to the State of New York for health care fraud and $39,193 for his tax fraud and forfeited $123,000 and a vehicle that was purchased with the proceeds of his crimes. The case was investigated by the New York State Inspector General’s Office and prosecuted by the Schenectady County DA’s Office.

This criminal sentencing concludes a joint investigation that earlier this week resulted in a $42,000 civil plea with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.

“New Yorkers deserve to be treated by reputable and licensed medical professionals,” said New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang. “They are entitled to feel secure that their medical safety net will be there for them when they need it. The outcome of this case and sizable restitution shows that we stand guard over the integrity of these crucial programs.” 

Lang thanked the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York, the New York State Police, and United Healthcare for their participation and cooperation. Lang praised the work of Office of Inspector General staff who investigated the case. Those staff include Attorney-in-Charge for DOCCS Matters George Frany, Chief of Audit for the Upstate Regional Office Dennis Graves, Chief of Investigations for the Upstate Regional Office Sherry Amarel, Deputy Inspector General for the Upstate Regional Office Jim Davis, Investigator Steve Brucker, Managing Investigator for Welfare Jason Fazio, Confidential Investigator Jeffrey Haber and Deputy Chief of Staff Peter Amorosa. 

Schenectady County Chief Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Assini thanked the work of ADAs Eamonn Neary and William Lemon in pursuing a thorough investigation and just prosecution of this complex case and said, “the collaboration with multiple agencies was effective and this case holds Mr. St. Lucia accountable for his fraud on the system and its effect upon all those in Schenectady and in the state, and we hope it deters others from such actions.”