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Former Ashland cardiologist sentenced to prison, restitution for convictions on healthcare fraud

Kentucky Today

A former Kentucky cardiologist was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution for convictions of charges he performed unnecessary heart procedures as part of a healthcare fraud scheme.

Richard Paulus, 71, maintained his innocence during the sentencing hearing on Thursday, The Daily Independent in Ashland reported.

Richard Paulus (The Daily Independent via Kentucky Today)

“I acted in what I thought was the best interests of my clients,” Paulus said.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning imposed the 60-month sentence but allowed Paulus to remain out of custody until the Department of Prisons decides where he will self-report. He is expected to begin serving his sentence on June 24.

Paulus was a practicing cardiologist at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, when in 2008 authorities received an anonymous complaint alleging that Paulus was committing fraud by performing unnecessary heart procedures, causing Medicare and Medicaid and private insurance companies to pay for them. 

He was indicted, went to trial and convicted of a count of health care fraud and 10 counts of making false statements. Bunning later tossed the verdict on legal grounds, but the guilty verdict was subsequently reinstated by a federal appeals court.

Defense Attorney Bob Bennett said he was disappointed in the sentence and will appeal, the newspaper said.

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