CONCORD — The former chief medical officer of a New Hampshire hospital has pleaded guilty to scheming to bilk Medicare of $1.9 million, federal prosecutors announced.
Steven Powell, 53, who now lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, pleaded guilty to a single count of health care fraud and will return to New Hampshire on Aug. 30 to be sentenced, according to a statement issued by U.S. Attorney Jane Young, the top federal prosecutor in New Hampshire.
He faces a maximum possible prison sentence of 10 years and fines that can be up to twice the stolen amount.
According to Powell’s LinkedIn page, he is the current chief medical officer at MediTelecare and PursueCare in Alpharetta. A telephone call to his New Hampshire attorney, Donald Kennedy, was not immediately returned.
According to court filings, between December 2018 and February 2019, Powell and others submitted more than $1.9 million in fraudulent Medicare claims for unnecessary durable medical equipment. Medicare paid more than $760,000 on the claims.
The filing says Powell worked with accomplices employed by unnamed telemedicine companies in Massachusetts and Florida.
Company employees sent him prefilled, unsigned prescriptions for the durable medical equipment, and Powell ordered braces that were unnecessary. He also falsified, fabricated or altered patient files to support the orders.
A spokesman for Young’s office said an investigation is ongoing and could not answer a reporter’s questions about whether others will be charged.
Powell lived in the Upper Connecticut River Valley town of Grantham before moving to Georgia.
His LinkedIn account also listed him as the chief medical officer of the New London Hospital from 2012 to May 2018. Online information with the New Hampshire Board of Medicine said his license to practice in the state will expire on June 30 and is pending renewal.
It lists his internship and residence with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. New London Hospital is part of the Dartmouth Health network, which did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.