New York dentist gets $7.7 million after being falsely accused of Medicaid fraudBy Mason White 7:07 PM February 13, 2013
|Dr. Leonard Morse|
By: Debbie Gross
A Brooklyn, New York, dentist was arrested and charged with Medicaid fraud after 95 percent of his revenue was payments from Medicaid, according to court proceedings in New York.
Now, the Brooklyn dentist whose career was ruined after former Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, made him a poster boy for Medicaid fraud won a $7.7 million settlement Tuesday against two former Spitzer investigators.
That was $1.6 million more than Dr. Leonard Morse estimated.
“It took a little over 2,500 days, but the truth came out,” Morse, a father six and 65-years-old, said. “Now I feel totally vindicated,” he added.
Morse, accused the former investigators John Fusto and Jose Castillo in his lawsuit for fabricating evidence against him.
Morse had a thriving dental practice in Park Slope, Brooklyn with 30,000 patients before Spitzer focused on him because 95 percent of his patients were eligible for Medicaid.
Morse, filed a $75 million lawsuit in Brooklyn Federal Court, accusing of being the victim of a witch hunt by Spitzer in 2006, when the prosecutor was running for governor.
After Spitzer’s political opponents labeled him soft on Medicaid fraud, he focused on Morse, who was a major biller in the state, the lawsuit said.
Morse was accused of stealing more than $1 million for dentures he never used. His arrest was announced in a press release translated into several languages, including Russian and Korean.
But the criminal case against Morse collapsed during a bench trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court after Fusto was forced to acknowledge that the billing records showed an error of just $3,000.
Morse was acquitted of all charges. However, he lost his practice.