- Attorney General Stuart Rabner and Division
of Criminal Justice Director Gregory A.
Paw announced that a New York physician
and his wife have been charged with defrauding
insurance companies of more than $500,000
and laundering the money.
to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden
Brown, Juan Carlos Fischberg, 58, of New
York City, formerly a New Jersey licensed
physician, and his wife, Gezel Villanueva,
39, were indicted today by a state grand
jury on charges of first-degree money laundering
and second-degree conspiracy. In addition,
Fischberg was charged with second-degree
health care claims fraud, two counts each
of second-degree theft by deception and
fourth-degree falsifying medical records,
and one count of fourth-degree false swearing.
Prior to voluntarily surrendering his New
Jersey medical license in January 2004,
Fischberg owned, operated and controlled
a medical practice known as Hudson Rehabilitation
and Medical Center in West New York. He
was board certified in physical medicine
indictment alleges that between Jan. 1,
1998 and Aug. 22, 2003, Fischberg stole
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claims
money from 17 auto insurance companies.
It is alleged that he falsely stated that
his patients were injured and suffered from
medical conditions, primarily as the result
of automobile accidents, and that it was
necessary for him to perform electro-diagnostic
testing to diagnose and treat them. It is
alleged that the electro-diagnostic tests
were not medically necessary and, in some
cases, were not performed at all.
is further alleged that during a February
2002 deposition in a civil insurance fraud
case filed against him by several insurance
companies, Fischberg falsely swore that
he maintained certain medical records for
each patient in connection with electromyography
and nerve conduction velocity electro-diagnostic
addition, the indictment alleges that between
March 5 and Dec. 31, 2003, Fischberg and
Villanueva engaged in money laundering by
transferring over $500,000 to South America
and to the Capital Trust Company of Delaware
in order to hide the fact that the money
was obtained through insurance fraud.
“When doctors commit fraud it is particularly
disturbing, because the integrity of the
health care claims process depends on the
trustworthiness of the licensed professionals
involved,” said Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
Brown. “The Office of Insurance Fraud
Prosecutor will continue to vigorously investigate
and prosecute this type of criminal activity.”
State Investigators Laura Parisi and Robyn
Greene, Civil Investigator Chris Gasbarro,
and Deputy Attorneys General Steven B. Farman
and Cheryl Maccaroni were assigned to the
investigation. They received extensive assistance
from the OIFP Analytical Support Unit. Farman
presented the case to the grand jury.
indictment was handed up to Superior Court
Judge Linda R. Feinberg in Mercer County.
The case is assigned to Superior Court in
Monmouth County, where the defendants will
be ordered to appear for arraignment. The
indictment is merely an accusation and the
defendants are presumed innocent until proven
guilty. Crimes of the first degree carry
a sentence of up to 20 years in state prison
and a criminal fine of up to $200,000, while
crimes of the second degree carry a sentence
of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $150,000.
The defendants also may face civil insurance
Brown noted that some important cases have
started with anonymous tips. People who
are concerned about insurance cheating and
have information about a fraud can report
it anonymously by calling the toll-free
or visiting the Web at www.NJInsuranceFraud.org.
State regulations permit an award to be
paid to an eligible person who provides
information that leads to an arrest, prosecution
and conviction for insurance fraud.
Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor was
established by the Automobile Insurance
Cost Reduction Act of 1998. The office is
the centralized state agency that investigates
and prosecutes both civil and criminal insurance
fraud, as well as Medicaid fraud.
Indictment (363k pdf) plugin