Eppelbaum is a licensed physician who owns and operates the “Atlanta Institute of Medicine and Rehabilitation” and the “Pain Clinic of AIMR” in Atlanta, Yates said. In June 2011, he was indicted for allegedly bilking Medicare and the IRS of roughly $16 million over five years.
On Monday, a federal jury convicted Eppelbaum following a two-week trial, Yates said.
Eppelbaum used a bogus non-profit to provide travel kickbacks to his patients, funnel money through an area Jewish day school to disguise his funding, and file false charitable deductions to avoid paying federal taxes, according to evidence produced in court. Between 2004 and 2009, Eppelbaum treated hundreds of Back Pain Fund patients and received approximately $16 million for their treatment from Medicare. He also evaded approximately $1 million in federal income taxes through his scheme, Yates said.
“Eppelbaum thought his clever scheme was undetectable, but was outwitted by my investigators and other law enforcement officers,” said Derrick L. Jackson with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Atlanta Region. “Criminals defrauding government health programs can expect to be brought to justice regardless of how intricate their plots.”
The health care charges each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years or five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The tax charges each carry a maximum sentence of five years or three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The money laundering charges each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.