A convicted felon from the Hudson Valley who previously surrendered his medical license is facing more prison time after posing as a credible orthopedic surgeon and collecting nearly a million dollars to review patient files.
Hopewell Junction resident Spyros Panos, a former surgeon who practiced in Poughkeepsie, pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud, health care fraud, and aggravated identity theft, in connection with a scheme in which he obtained more than $876,000 to review files related to healthcare appeals and Workers Compensation cases.
Panos was previously been convicted of health care fraud in 2013, at which point he surrendered his medical license as a condition of his plea.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said that Panos, while unlicensed, attempted to defraud medical peer review companies by impersonating a licensed orthopedic surgeon practicing in Westchester.
To complete his ruse, Panos submitted the doctor’s credentials to companies and conducted peer reviews using the doctor’s name and credentials.
Through the scheme, Panos defrauded peer review companies of a total of $876,389.
Strauss noted that before his trial, which was scheduled to begin on Monday, Nov. 2, Panos submitted proposed defense evidence that included fraudulent emails and records.
“Spyros Panos, a former surgeon who surrendered his medical license after a prior conviction in this District for health care fraud, has admitted to committing health care fraud again, this time by impersonating a licensed doctor,” Strauss said. “Now, for a second time, Panos awaits sentencing for his criminal conduct.”
Panos’ previously pleaded guilty to health care fraud in 2014 after admitting to botching and faking thousands of surgeries over a five-year period.
Panos pleaded guilty to wire fraud, health care fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison on the top charge. In addition to possible prison time, Panos has also agreed to forfeit $876,389 and pay the same amount in restitution.
Panos is scheduled to be sentenced on March 16, 2021.
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