Former Monroe supervisor admits false health benefits
The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a former supervisor in Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County, pleaded guilty yesterday before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt to the charge of making false statements in connection with health care benefits.
Robert Spano, 63, admitted to violating a federal statute prohibiting the making of false statements in connection with a health care matter.
Spano was previously indicted by a grand jury in November 2011.
The indictment alleged that Spano, while he was a supervisor and employee of Middle Smithfield Township, participated in the township's group health benefit plan administered by Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania and in the township's dental care benefits plan administered by United Concordia.
The indictment charged that Spano completed health insurance and dental insurance enrollment forms in November of 2007 in which he listed his girlfriend, referred to in the indictment as "C.B.," as his spouse, and as having the last name Spano, when in fact her last name was not Spano, and she was not his spouse.
The indictment stated that Robert Spano was still legally married to another person and had filed for divorce from his wife in January 2011.
As a result of Spano's misrepresentations, Middle Smithfield Township, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and United Concordia incurred expenses totaling approximately $24,488 for medical and dental services provided to C.B. and for higher health insurance premiums between 2007 and 2010.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O'Hara.
In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is five years' imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.
Under the federal sentencing guidelines, the judge is required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances, and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public, and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational, and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
A sentencing date has not been scheduled.