- by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
Integra initially employed Metz as a Product Specialist in July, 2005. Apparently, surgeons routinely allow product specialists to be present during surgeries and, should they need any of the items which the sales person has with them, they use the items and the hospital is later billed for the items used. Integra Product Specialists bring with them consignment trays with pre-packaged products and they, and their supervisors, are compensated based on salary, sales target-based commission and bonuses.
Metz eventually became Northeast Regional Manager, supervising 16 Product Specialists and Assistant Sales Representatives in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. While working in his managerial role, Metz oversaw Carey, who was a Product Specialist from January, 2009, until he resigned in April, 2011.
During court proceedings, Metz admitted that he used various fraudulent methods to overcharge hospitals and surgery centers, including sometimes charging for a greater quantity or a more expensive product than was actually used. He also admitted in court that he taught his fraudulent schemes to those he supervised, including Carey, who admitted to also employing the methods.
Together, Metz and Carey admitted to fraudulently causing medical facilities to pay more than $800,000 in inflated bills. When the fraud was brought to the company's attention, Metz was fired from Integra in April, 2013.
In addition to the prison term and home confinement, US District Judge Joel A. Pisano sentenced Metz to three years of supervised release. As part of their plea agreements, Metz will pay $100,000 and Carey, $77,000, which represents the amounts of money they personally made through the fraud scheme. The defrauded hospitals have already been reimbursed by Integra for the fraudulent charges.
Assisting Fishman with the investigation were special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford and Morris County Prosecutor’s Office detectives, under the direction of Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.
The US Attorney's stand-alone Health Care and Government Fraud Unit handles both criminal and civil investigations and prosecutes health care fraud offenses. Since 2010, the office has recovered more than $635 million in health care fraud and government fraud settlements, judgments, fines, restitution and forfeiture under the False Claims Act, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and other statutes.
The government was represented by Jacob T. Elberg, Chief of the US Attorney’s Office’s Health Care and Government Fraud Unit, in Newark.
The defense counsel for Metz was Lawrence Lustberg Esq., Newark, and for Carey, Timothy Donohue Esq., of West Orange.