The mask itself didn’t raise any suspicions. After all, the man wearing it—Richard Toussaint–was an anesthesiologist. But like so many other masked men, he turned out to be a thief. That’s why on March 4 he was convicted in a Texas federal court on seven counts of health care fraud totaling about $10 million. He faces up to ten years in federal prison, plus a $250,000 fine on each of the seven counts.
Like so many brilliant ideas—and even more dumb ones—the scheme was simple. Dr. Toussaint simply billed a host of health insurance companies, including the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, for anesthesia services he never performed. Sometimes he billed for a patient when he wasn’t present at the procedure. Sometimes he claimed to be working in two different hospitals at the same time. Once he billed for a procedure when at that moment he was miles away, undergoing surgery–and presumably receiving anesthesia–himself.
No sentencing date has been set.
The case is U.S. v. Toussaint, 3:15-cr-00215 (W.D. Tex. 03-04-2016).