A Brooklyn dentist who alleged that his career was ruined by a New York State Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) investigation has won a $7.7 million verdict against two of then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s staff members.
According to court papers filed by Dr. Leonard Morse’s attorney, available here, the dentist was pursued by Elliot Spitzer’s MFCU because he was one of the top Medicaid billers in the state with 30,000 patients, almost all of whom were Medicaid eligible. He was criminally charged with stealing more that $1 million in false billings for dentures but was acquitted at trial. The dentist alleged that he lost his practice and his credibility in the field as a result of the publicity. He also alleged that the MFCU individuals had fabricated evidence.
After winning his case against his accusers, a legal battle that took almost 7 years, Dr. Morse was quoted in a New York Daily News article (available here) as feeling “totally vindicated.”
The jury deliberated for merely three hours. After requesting a calculator from the Judge, they rendered its $7.7 million verdict.
The AG’s office had no official comment but apparently they will appeal.
The New York Daily News also reported that Dr. Morse may have a new patient. As he was leaving the courtroom, one of the jurors in the case asked him to look at his tooth.
For more information, please contact the author, David R. Ross, who served as Acting Medicaid Inspector General under governors Pataki and Spitzer, as well as General Counsel, Deputy Medicaid Inspector General, and Director of Audits and Investigations for the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG).
The complaint in this case may be found here: Morse v Spitzer (Complaint)
The New York Daily News article may be found here: http://www.nydailynews.com/dentist-wins-7-7m-ex-spitzer-staff-article-1.1262539