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Clinton surgeon pleads guilty to workers’-compensation fraud

By Charles McChesney


UTICA, N.Y. — A Clinton orthopedic surgeon has pleaded guilty to defrauding the state workers’-compensation system.

Dr. Gregory B. Shankman, 70, of Clinton, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Oneida County Court in Utica to two counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the second degree and surrendered his license to practice medicine.

New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said in a news release that Shankman defrauded the system of more than $86,000. Leahy Scott said Shankman is expected to pay full restitution of $86,896.31 at the time of his sentencing in June.

Leahy Scott said Shankman defrauded the workers’-compensation system by claiming he was examining patients at his Utica office when was actually in Western New York, out of state or, in the spring of 2016, traveling in Iceland.

In all, Leahy Scott said Shankman was not in his office on more than 150 separate days from January 2015 to August 2017 while certifying he was at the office each of those day overseeing workers’-compensation exams.

Catherine Leahy Scott
Catherine Leahy Scott

“Patients at Shankman’s office were often instead only seen by a physician’s assistant who was not authorized to examine and treat workers’-compensation patients without Shankman’s direct supervision,” Leahy Scott said.

“This doctor brazenly supplemented his income through an illicit medical mill that left honest physicians at an unfair competitive disadvantage. With pure greed, he billed for services he was supposed to personally oversee but was instead traveling across the state or vacationing abroad,” she said.

As such, Shankman systematically submitted false bills for medical services rendered by a workers’ compensation medical provider to the State Insurance Fund, the County of Oneida and other insurance carriers, third-party administrators, and self-insured entities, Leahy Scott said.

Shankman remained released pending sentencing scheduled for on June 5.

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