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Long Island Psychiatric Center Administrator Charged With Fraud

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini
Frank Franklin II
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini

On Long Island, the associate director of operations at a state-run Pilgrim Psychiatric Center was arrested Thursday for $132,000-worth of insurance fraud.

Authorities say Dr. Joseph Gottesman submitted hundreds of false claims to Empire Plan/United Healthcare insurance under his wife’s name for services that were never provided.

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said Gottesman gamed the system at the expense of New York taxpayers.

Empire Plan had forwarded suspicious claims to the New York State Inspector General’s officer for review. The inspector general says Gottesman fabricated nearly 450 claims over three years.

Gottesman is on administrative leave from Pilgrim, and is due back in court in December. If convicted, he faces between five and 15 years in prison.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.