NEW YORK—Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced Anthony Cracchiolo was sentenced to five years in prison for conspiring to defraud the Medicare Program and for illegally possessing an automatic weapon as a convicted felon.
Cracchiolo's fraud conviction related to his involvement in a scheme to pay and receive kickbacks in connection with illegally buying and selling signed orders for durable medical equipment (DME), such as leg, arm and back braces, and then using those orders to file fraudulent Medicare claims for more than $11 million, as well as selling such orders to other DME supply companies so that those companies in turn could also file fraudulent Medicare claims. Cracchiolo previously pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced before U.S. District Judge John P. Cronan.
“Anthony Cracchiolo faced justice today for illegally trafficking in signed orders for durable medical equipment and thus seeking to defraud Medicare of more than $11 million," Williams said. "Such fraud schemes do real harm to the Medicare program—a vital, taxpayer-funded program that provides affordable health care to people over 65 or with disabilities.”
According to statements made in court and publicly filed documents in this case:
From at least July 2019 through Oct. 2020, Cracchiolo and a partner (“Partner-1”) engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare in at least three ways. First, Cracchiolo and Partner-1 illegally paid kickbacks of more than $565,000 to purchase fraudulent DME orders, including orders purportedly signed by doctors who never, in fact, signed or authorized those orders and were unaware that their names and identities were being so used. These DME orders were for such equipment as braces for ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and backs. Second, Cracchiolo and Partner-1 resold some of the fraudulent orders to other DME suppliers—receiving more than $425,000 in criminal proceeds—so that those suppliers, in turn, could fraudulently bill Medicare for the DME. Finally, in May and June 2020, Cracchiolo and Partner-1 acquired five of their own fraudulent DME supply companies and themselves used fraudulent DME orders to file more than $11 million in fraudulent Medicare claims, seeking payment to the DME suppliers that Cracchiolo and Partner-1 controlled. Ultimately, Medicare paid out more than $5.5 million to Cracchiolo and Partner-1, along with a substantial sum to the DME suppliers to whom Cracchiolo and Partner-1 sold fraudulent DME orders.
When arrested at his residence in Parkland, Florida, on March 1, 2022, CRACCHIOLO was found to be illegally in possession of a semiautomatic firearm, a Palmetto State Armory PA-15, as well as an extended ammunition clip and approximately 130 rounds of ammunition, despite being a previously convicted felon who was not allowed to possess such a firearm.
In addition to the prison term, Cracchiolo, 43, of Parkland, Florida, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $5,595,968 to the Medicare program. He was also ordered, on March 15, 2023, to pay forfeiture of $2,399,817, including forfeiting his Florida residence and the seized automatic weapon.