Jesup, Ga. family physician sentenced for health care fraud

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009 5:56 AM
Last updated 6:21 PM
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A 43-year-old Jesup family physician was sentenced Monday to 34 months in federal prison for conspiring to commit health care fraud.

The sentence Chief U.S. District Judge William T. Moore imposed on Randy Scott Lentz is short of the maximum five years, but Moore also sentenced him to pay $248,755 in restitution and serve three years on probation.

A doctor since 2001, Lentz also faces the loss of his medical license.

Lentz said nothing as he stood before Moore in a Savannah courtroom more than two years after pleading guilty. In granting leniency, Moore said the sentence would serve as a deterrent but would not unduly punish Lentz's patients, the community or his family.

Moore also sentenced Scott Thomas Bowlin, a former physical therapist charged in the scheme.

Bowlin, 46, of Rochester, N.Y., was sentenced to 19 months in prison and three years of probation and ordered to pay $19,839 in restitution.

Bowlin apologized for his role in the scheme and thanked Moore for showing him mercy. Bowlin had been licensed to practice in Florida and Georgia, but those licenses have expired, state records showed.

A 106-count indictment returned in 2006 charged Lentz and his 34-year-old wife, Rebecca, along with Bowlin and his 43-year-old wife, Kim, with conspiracy and health care fraud.

Both couples were charged with conspiring to defraud Medicare and Georgia Medicaid from August 2004 through April 2005, the indictment stated.

The scheme included billing Medicare and Medicaid for physical therapy and other services that were never provided and for unnecessary services, according to the indictment.

Lentz and his wife operated Lentz Medical Practice and the adjacent World Gym in Jesup. The Bowlins operated Total Rehab and Wellness, a physical therapy facility in Richmond Hill, where they lived. Randy Lentz referred patients to his gym for cardiac rehab and billed Medicare and Medicaid, court documents showed.

On Nov. 7, 2007, on the third day of his trial, Randy Lentz pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

Bowlin had pleaded guilty on Oct. 29, 2007. He told Moore that he had agreed "from day one" with Lentz to a 50-50 split of the scheme's illegal proceeds.

In exchange for the men's pleas, the government dismissed the other 105 charges against them. Moore ordered the men to surrender to prison by Feb. 2.

The government agreed to dismiss the charges against Kim Bowlin and Rebecca Lentz in exchange for their participation in a pretrial diversion program.

FBI agents and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services authorities began investigating Lentz and Bowlin in July 2005 after a tip to the department's fraud hot line.

Reach teresa.stepzinski@jacksonville.com, (912) 264-0405

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johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 12/22/09 - 06:26 am
0
0
Well, how dumb was this. With

Well, how dumb was this. With the businesses these people ran along with their medical degrees, these people had to make plenty of money legally. I wonder if the gamble was worth it.

seenitB4
96999
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seenitB4 12/22/09 - 06:42 am
0
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More tips to the fraud line

More tips to the fraud line could help save medicare/medicaid millions...

justus4
113
Points
justus4 12/22/09 - 07:51 am
0
0
Wow! Look at the
Unpublished

Wow! Look at the sentence....a cake walk. How could a judge think that this sentence is any kind of deterrent? Isn't fraud a serious crime? Isn't health care reform necessary partly because of the massive fraud being placed on taxpayers? Shouldn't the judge be concerned that such light sentences encourage more health care fraud? Didn't the Sixty Minutes piece clearly explain that it is extremely easy to commit this fraud? Why isn't the message going out that this fraud is causing untold harm to the health care system and taxpayers? Well, the answer is simple: The individuals involved with the fraud, involved with the application of justice, and involved with the prosecution of such horrible criminals are all look-a-likes. This is an example of what the US screams that rogue nations do...great country, eh?

belle
311
Points
belle 12/22/09 - 08:40 am
0
0
it took 4 years to end this
Unpublished

it took 4 years to end this investigation/charges/sentencing routine. So, will it be 2013 before Testino is sentenced?

soldout
1283
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soldout 12/22/09 - 08:50 am
0
0
Health care is a lot about

Health care is a lot about money and some about health

Dixieman
17237
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Dixieman 12/22/09 - 09:15 am
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Idiot. Got a medical degree

Idiot. Got a medical degree and a good life, then just got greedy and threw it all away.

JohnQPublic
5
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JohnQPublic 12/22/09 - 09:33 am
0
0
Doctors defrauding the health

Doctors defrauding the health care industry? No wonder......greed runs rampant!

CoastalDawg
125
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CoastalDawg 12/22/09 - 10:20 am
0
0
Greed starts at the top -

Greed starts at the top - look at what just happened in our very own congress! At least two senators votes were bought with taxpayer money. If you or I had done that we'd be before the judge, too, just like these two people. Yet, these men are going to prison and congress just sits and laughs at the American people. What is the difference between what the congressman from Louisiana did (the one with $90,000 in his freezer) and what lobbyists do on a regular basis with our congress? NO DIFFERENCE! One congress person (another one from Louisiana) got $300,000 for her district, swinging her vote, the senator got a huge amount for medicaid in Nebraska which will cost OTHER states in order to pay that, and that swung HIS vote. While congress concentrates on whether or not baseball players took steroids their own cohorts are committing what are considered crimes amongst the "regular" population. I don't understand how these people lie down and sleep at night after some of their shenanigans. It's time to institute recalls for every position in our government-let those who are worthy qualify and run again. Government is totally out of control, each one aiding and abetting the next.

LCC0256
634
Points
LCC0256 12/22/09 - 11:27 am
0
0
Coastal dawg you are DEAD

Coastal dawg you are DEAD RIGHT and the "dead" IS where our once great republic is headed if the this horrible trend is not stopped. It is not wealth or money that is wrong or evil - it is the LUST FOR IT AND THE LOVE OF IT above God that is so wrong & causes people to act this way. This man cheated every taxpayer in the United States (all 50% of us - not to be confused with the 50% who live in this country who do not pay taxes) This situation is akin to the section 8 (?) correct reference? as there are so many GIVErnMEnt laws redistributing earned wealth) slum lords who profit at taxpayer expense & who are as detrimental to this country as the "Give me a place to live" (overwhelming majority) tenants are. Isn't anyone ASHAMED of themselves anymore? Why is it that a HUGE PERCENTAGE of those that live in the US today want to steal from others? Or have the idea that because i work and earn i need to share it with their able bodies? If this greed would end AND the able bodied would not have an entitlement mentality then THERE WOULD BE NO TRULY NEEDY IN THIS COUNTRY. Again another INDISPUTABLE FACT NOT UP FOR SPIN OR OTHER LIES THE COMMUNIST ARE USING TO DESTROY THE COUNTRY.

HollyHoly
0
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HollyHoly 12/22/09 - 03:13 pm
0
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gee johnston/einstein@6:26..I

gee johnston/einstein@6:26..I think we can gather by the article above your post that it was NOT worth it. Now does that help??

Fiat_Lux
16419
Points
Fiat_Lux 12/22/09 - 04:32 pm
0
0
If you think this is bad,

If you think this is bad, just imagine what Obamacare will be like, when doctors and therapists get paid only as federal employees. Now they have a hard time staying in business if they take Medicare or Medicaid because neither reimburse providers what it costs to care for m'care or 'caid patients. Not to excuse these thieving lowlifes, but it's not hard to figure out why they did it. Expect lots more of these crappy health care providers in our future, and they'll be a lot dumber as well as unethical.

stumpjumper
2
Points
stumpjumper 12/22/09 - 05:28 pm
0
0
This is exactly why I want my

This is exactly why I want my doctor one side of me and my attorney on the other when I die. I want to go just like Jesus, right between two damn thieves.

Leehweht
0
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Leehweht 12/28/09 - 03:42 pm
0
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First things first, if no one

First things first, if no one will come to Dr Lentz’s defense, I will. It seems so easy for the Federal Government to show up, charge someone, and convict them, a reporter to write about it and a paper’s readers to condemn him. However, Dr Lentz is the most honest, hard working man I know. He is up at 4am opening his gym for those who need to see him and exercise. He makes his hospital rounds and is ready to see his patients at 8 am. As you walk into his office you see mostly older patients. They come to him because they know he is will listen and talk to them and get to the bottom of their problems. Some cant pay the co-pay, others patients cant pay at all. But, he will still see them, without an appointment…. Isn’t it a sad time in this country when NOT forcing someone to pay a co pay for service is against the law? How about someone cooking a pie for a doctor, or cutting a Dr’s lawn, in exchange for medical treatment because they are poor, being considered against the law? (I guess it is too hard to figure out HOW to tax a doctor for that). When he is done seeing his patients for the day, he then teaches a judo class to a bunch of Wayne county kids after school.-more

Leehweht
0
Points
Leehweht 12/28/09 - 03:43 pm
0
0
(Some at no charge!) Why?

(Some at no charge!) Why? Because he believes in the kids, and the kids believe in him. So much so that no less than 8 of the kids have recently place nationally in judo completions. (Junior Olympics, USA Nationals, USA Open). For almost 3 hours a day, this Good Man trains and teaches these kids what it takes to be Olympians and winners, morals and values. Dixieman stated “Idiot. Got a medical degree and a good life, then just got greedy and threw it all away”. The truth is he did get a medical degree, while on a church mission. A good life? That depends on your interpretation. He lives in a normal home size home on a dirt road, drives an early 90s model, beat up Honda. His wife drives an older minivan. That’s its.. No fancy cars, fancy houses, boats, motorcycles, etc. He has huge calluses on his hands from hard work because he does put in 16 and 17 hours every day working. As far as throwing it all away as Dixieman stated, doctor Lentz did referred patients to Physical therapy and the therapist did fill out the claims to Medicare under the DR’s Number. It is true that the therapist did some illegal billing.-more

Leehweht
0
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Leehweht 12/28/09 - 03:43 pm
0
0
And when Dr Lentz found out,

And when Dr Lentz found out, he fired the therapist and reported him to Medicare. (And the therapist had the gall to sue the Dr for firing him) Working with Medicare to fix the problem, the FBI got involved… Dr Lentz did not throw anything away for greed. The court documents clearly state that he and his wife give generously to the church and charities, this is not the habit of GREEEEDY evil men. Please everyone I urge all reading this to get the book “The Criminalization of Medicine” by Ronal T. Libby, Praeger Publishers. Regardless, what one may think, this country has big problems when an honest man is “forced” to plead guilty on ONE, ONE count of reckless billing and ALL the other thousand charges, plus charges against his wife are ALL dropped.

corgimom
38252
Points
corgimom 12/28/09 - 05:05 pm
0
0
Leehweht still believes in

Leehweht still believes in fairy tales. Gee, since he's so poor and so honest, how will he ever pay back the $245,000? And guess what- honest doctors don't bill for services never performed. And physical therapists don't bill under a doctor's number, they bill under their own number. You must be a relative or dumb as a sack of rocks. And you're right, it's not about greed, it's about evil. "When Dr. Lentz found out"- hey, I would've found out right away when I got MONEY FOR SERVICES I NEVER PERFORMED.

corgimom
38252
Points
corgimom 12/28/09 - 05:17 pm
0
0
Randy Scott

Randy Scott Lentz

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date of conviction: November 09, 2007
Type of fraud: Medical - false claims
Location: Jesup, GA
Occupation: Doctor
Prosecutor: Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian McEvoy
Jurisdiction: Federal
Amount of fraud: $600,000
Sentence: entered pre-trial agreement

I believe that I would notice if I received $600,000 that I didn't earn. And you forgot to mention that he sat through 2 days of a trial before he finally pled guilty, when the evidence against him was overwhelming. I guess now his only problem will be keeping fit in the pen.

Leehweht
0
Points
Leehweht 12/29/09 - 01:29 pm
0
0
I don’t believe in fairy

I don’t believe in fairy tales Corgimom, quite the contrary. I happen to work for the government and see firsthand how EMPLOYEES of the government “sometimes” abuses their public position to further their own careers. Did ANY reporter EVER investigate this story? Or did they just regurgitate what was already said and or written? First…. Just because a Doctor / therapist submits claims to Medicaid/Medicare does not mean that 600,000 dollars just shows up the next month!! On average, it takes more than six months to receive ANY money from the all efficient Government (stop and ask a doctor). So, for the sake of discussion let’s say this did start on August 2004 and end on April 2005, which is all of 8-9 months. It makes perfect sense that WHEN the money did start coming in and was figured to be way too much, that Dr Lentz DID fired his Phy Theripist, contact Medicaid/Medicare, secure the money, and contact a lawyer. Did ANYONE …YOU or any reporter ever bother to see if those claims of Dr. Lentz were correct? Did ANYONE ask if HE contacted Medicare and told them there was a problem?- more

Leehweht
0
Points
Leehweht 12/29/09 - 01:30 pm
0
0
Did anyone ask if he did

Did anyone ask if he did receive a check from Medicare/Medicaid for close to a quarter of a million dollars AFTER he plead guilty to ONE count of reckless billing, because the government owed him money? NO! Corgimom, you stated “And you forgot to mention that he sat through 2 days of a trial before he finally pled guilty, when the evidence against him was overwhelming.” .. First, it was NOT after 2 days of overwhelming evidence that broke this man!!! It took over a YEAR of harassment, intimidation, slander, lies, and threats to break this man. The indictment came down Sept 2006 he plead guilty to “one” count November 2007 to make it ALL go away. In one year, the Mighty Federal Government came in and destroyed a small town doctor, by seizing boxes of financial, medical and employee records, church records as well as patient files, gym membership files, etc on Aug. 4.

Leehweht
0
Points
Leehweht 12/29/09 - 01:31 pm
0
0
Seizing his guns, passports,

Seizing his guns, passports, children’s passports, cash, locking up his bank accounts, liens, credit cards, YOU NAME IT.. THEY DID IT!! (and all this because in this country we are innocent until proven guilty..right?… that is unless you’re a Muslim terrorist, a cabinet member, or a ranking senior senator from NY, who neither one can seem to pay their taxes.) Without money (or with money for that matter) it is almost impossible to fight the Federal Government and their never ending pockets and twisted rules. “IF” the case was so STRONG and the evidence sooooo overwhelming, it would not have taken over a year to even start. Then when a plea was reach another 2 “TWO” years to sentence! (Normally when one pleads, the judge, prosecutor, and defendant have already worked things out and sentencing starts quickly.. you know, like MADOFF). This was not a year of overwhelming evidence, but a year of arm turning torture until Dr Lentz finally had enough and chose to plead to get the FEDS off of him, his wife, his family, his patients, his friends and everyone that had anything to do with him…….. -more

Leehweht
0
Points
Leehweht 12/29/09 - 01:32 pm
0
0
“The Criminalization of

“The Criminalization of Medicine” Read the book or at least the synopsis. You know Terersa, you could go get his side of the story and write about it here.

corgimom
38252
Points
corgimom 12/29/09 - 04:23 pm
0
0
Sure, Lee. That's why the

Sure, Lee. That's why the other man testified against him. And he pled guilty to avoid his wife being prosecuted. And his wife- the loving wife- helped him with the billing. Start saving your quarters for the vending machines on visiting days.

Leehweht
0
Points
Leehweht 12/30/09 - 05:03 pm
0
0
Humm..Good question. Why did

Humm..Good question. Why did the other man testify against him? Could it be something as simple as getting a reduced sentence? Oh peshaw! that whole honor among thieves thing must have stopped the physical therapist from covering his own rear end. Why, the Doctor MUST be guilty, because a long list of such reputable citizens stood up and either testified against him or went running to the FEDS to get the “REAL” truth out, explain how mean he is, and how he just won’t coddle anyone, and add a little excitement to their already boring (Mayberry) lives. You know, like the witness that is a confirmed Alzheimer patient, or how about woman who was reported, by DR. Lentz, to authorities for abusing her mother? I know, the upstanding individual that Dr Lentz report to the authorities for Dr Shopping. How about the child molester? I AM SURE “NONE” OF THEM HAD AN AXE TO GRIND!” !” And I know your probably thinking, with all this reporting to the authorities, why didn’t Dr Lentz report what was going on at his own facility? The truth is he did!!!. He was the one that informed Medicare/ Medicaid! In a column, by Teresa Stepzinski dated Sept 19, 2006, -more

Leehweht
0
Points
Leehweht 12/30/09 - 05:05 pm
0
0
Well I can only think of two

Well I can only think of two reasons. Reason one is to bring this horrible, evil, mean, (and he really does have crappy bed side manners) to justice!!! Make him pay for the wrong he has done. TO FIX HEATH CARE!!!.. Soooo he is sentence to less than 3 years at Camp Cupcake, in Jesup GA, 2 miles away from his house, and he is told to pay a quarter of millions dollars, (notice, NOT 600,000) but the exact amount Medicare/Medicaid wrote him a check for. Reason two, to make money and politicize the problems of heathcare, and maybe, maybe further the careers of the feds involved. Lets see, the office FBI will receive 5 dollars for every one dollar they can get a judge to fine Dr Lentz. (Pretty good motive. And they say citizens are greedy). For three years this has been in the news without ONE article being written from anyone’s side other than the Feds. (Which is a shame, due to the whole freedom of the press and all? With its ideals of protecting people from both mean and bad people, while also protecting people from a run away, over powering government.) -more

Leehweht
0
Points
Leehweht 12/30/09 - 05:05 pm
0
0
.) Not one interview, not one

.) Not one interview, not one article written from the side of the Doctor. (And yet there are book deals already, and interviews being set up to question and ask terrorist (non- us citizens) just how mean and evil the Federal Government has treated the poor, misunderstood babies down at Guantanamo Bay.) Corgimom, you stated” Start saving your quarters for the vending machines on visiting days.” The truth is that is not even an issue. The fact is the moment he hits the door he will be given work release. (as well as he should) . And as he goes to work every day, he will make sure the prison gets their 25% off the top. Because God knows it’s only about doing the right thing……

corgimom
38252
Points
corgimom 12/31/09 - 02:03 am
0
0
Hey Leehweht, how is he going

Hey Leehweht, how is he going to be on work release when he loses his medical license? How does a convicted Federal felon practice medicine? And, btw, how was it that he received $243,000 that he didn't know anything about? And he pled guilty to receive a reduced sentence, too. Interesting that you know the supposedly exact amount that he received when it hasn't been printed in the paper. You yourself said he didn't get to tell his side of the story. And how does stealing from the government fix health care? First you say he was trying to fix health care, then you say he's innocent. If Randy Lentz reported all these people, just how did he have time to run 3 businesses?

corgimom
38252
Points
corgimom 12/31/09 - 02:11 am
0
0
And the prison doesn't get

And the prison doesn't get any money, you nitwit. It's paid to the Federal court. You just keep digging yourself a deeper and deeper hole. And first you said that he didn't make money, then you said he did. Secure the money? When there is an overpayment, the doctor is required to notify Medicare immediately and reimburse them immediately. "Securing the money" is total BS. If he secured the money, then doesn't he have the money to pay it back immediately? Why would he need work release to pay it back? You are either flat out lying or a total fool. And if you don't understand how a doctor referring his own patients to his gym is illegal and unethical, then I don't know what to tell you. I'm telling you, start saving your quarters.

corgimom
38252
Points
corgimom 12/31/09 - 02:27 am
0
0
Oh, and he DIDN'T plead

Oh, and he DIDN'T plead guilty to one count of "reckless billing". There is no such thing as "reckless billing". He pled guilty to CONSPIRACY. And you are an idiot. You have no idea if he's going to get work release and I seriously doubt that he is going to be sentenced so close to home. And how do I know all this? Because I know somebody else that got sentenced to Federal prison for Medicare fraud. And Lentz did not get in trouble for "not making people pay a copay". That is not illegal, and he can write off any amount of copays that he wants. And no, it doesn't take 6 months for a doctor to receive Medicare money. How do I know that? I am on Medicare, and by the time I get the flow sheets- and it's not 6 months- the money has already been paid to the doctor. The crime was committed when the illegal billing occurred, not when he received the money. You seem to believe that neither the doctor or his wife, who did the billing, had any record of all the billings.

corgimom
38252
Points
corgimom 12/31/09 - 03:02 am
0
0
Let me tell you something

Let me tell you something that you don't realize, Lee. The DEA- part of the big, bad Federal government- takes a very dim view of convicted Federal felons writing prescriptions. Go figure. It'll take a while for him to lose his license. But he will lose his DEA prescription number immediately. Now, I don't know too many people that would spend the money to go to a doctor that can't prescribe medicine- which is malpractice- but I'm sure you will. Now, let me tell you the story that is much closer to the truth than the cockamamie nonsense that you wrote. Somebody called the fraud hotline, and it wasn't Randy Lentz. There is no need for a doctor to call the fraud hotline, they have their own number to contact Medicare. The investigators looked at his billings, and it was way too high for a family practitioner in his part of the country. He was notified of the investigation. That's when he fired Bowlin and illegally "secured the money". He did falsely bill $600,000- they got Bowlin on $700.000- but the net assets that Lentz held in his name are only worth $243,000. Here's the way the law works- if a doctor bills Medicare, they are only allowed to bill for actual services rendered.

corgimom
38252
Points
corgimom 12/31/09 - 03:07 am
0
0
A doctor does not get to

A doctor does not get to decide to "fix health care" or tell patients that they don't have to pay a copay and then inflate the bill. A doctor does not get to decide to "secure money" for services that he knows were not performed. For some strange reason, you and he seem to think that he is above the law. I call him evil and sociopathic. Because he is. He got caught. He tried to fight the Feds- major bad idea- and he is in a hot mess of his own making. If he is so honest, why didn't he just tell the truth and pay the money back 2 years ago?

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