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Hollywood hospital executive gets prison time for medicare fraud

Medicare pays $40 million of $67 million fraudulent claims

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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A hospital executive in Hollywood was ordered to turn himself in February 26, after he was sentenced for his role in a scheme that resulted in more than $67 million in fraudulent Medicare claims.

Christopher Gabel, 62, was the former chief operating officer of the Hollywood Pavilion psychiatric hospital, 1201 N. 37 Ave. He was sentenced to six years in prison. He also must pay more than $39.3 million in restitution. Medicare paid $40 million of $67 million claimed.

Pavilion employees submitted claims to Medicare for treatment that was not provided from April 2003 to September 2012, authorities said. Gabel confessed to being aware of the scheme, while he supervised the inpatient and outpatient facilities.

They found Medicare beneficiaries from across the country by paying bribes and kickbacks to patient brokers, authorities said. He plead guilty to accusations that included instructing the patients brokers to falsify invoices.

Karen Kallen-Zury, Daisy Miller, Michele Petrie and Christian Coloma were convicted at trial in June 2013 for their roles in this scheme, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Kallen-Zury, HP's former chief executive officer, was sentenced to 25 years in prison.  Miller, the clinical director of HP's inpatient facility, was sentenced to 15 years in prison; and Petrie, the head of HP's intensive outpatient program, was sentenced to six years in prison. 

Coloma, the director of physical therapy for an entity associated with HP, was sentenced to 12 years in prison.  Kallen-Zury, Miller and Petrie were ordered to pay nearly $40 million in restitution, and Coloma was ordered to pay more than $20 million in restitution.