NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, New Jersey, man today admitted stealing health insurance reimbursement checks from a Hudson County medical practice for over four years, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Nuno Fernandez, 38, of Wyckoff, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before Senior U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to an information charging him with five counts of wire fraud.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
Fernandez was the office manager for a medical practice in North Bergen, New Jersey, where he handled and reconciled reimbursement checks that the practice received from health care benefit programs for medical services it provided. Starting in April 2012, Fernandez began stealing some of the checks by endorsing them in his own name and depositing them into his personal bank account using an application on his mobile telephone. No one at the medical practice authorized Fernandez to deposit the checks into his personal bank account. Fernandez continued to steal checks from the practice until March 2016. In total, Fernandez stole over $840,000.
Fernandez faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison on each count and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for April 20, 2021.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Department of Labor—Office of the Inspector General and the National Insurance Crime Bureau for its assistance with the case.
The government is represented by Senior Trial Counsel Jason S. Gould of the Health Care Fraud Unit in Newark.
Defense Counsel: Joseph Benedict Esq., New Brunswick, New Jersey