WESTON, Conn. — A 48-year-old physical therapist from Weston pleaded guilty Thursday to federal tax fraud charges in connection with an investigation into health care fraud, according to prosecutors.
Danielle Faux pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to obstruction of a federal audit, and making false statement on a federal income tax return, said U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Faux owns and operates Danielle Faux PT, a physical therapy clinic located at 27 Lois St. in Norwalk.
In August 2009, a contractor for the Medicare program conducting an audit of the physical therapy practice contacted Faux and requested records of 40 claims for physical therapy that Faux had submitted to Medicare.
The requested records included documentation to support the services billed, including the physical therapy progress notes, physical therapy flow sheet/activity sheets, and any additional documentation verifying medical necessity for the physical therapy procedures.
Because no patient progress notes or similar records existed that would support many of the Medicare claims, Faux instructed a physical therapist working for her to create detailed notes in the patient files and Faux similarly created such records.
As part of her plea, Faux also admitted that from 2008 through 2011, she skimmed checks and cash proceeds from her physical therapy practice and did not declare those proceeds on her federal income tax returns.
Through this scheme, Faux avoided paying $77,640 in taxes over the four-year period.
When sentenced Dec. 15, Faux faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the obstruction count, and a maximum of three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 on the tax count.
When she was indicted Feb. 19, 2014, by a federal grand jury in Bridgeport, Faux was charged with 46 counts of health care fraud and one count of obstruction of a federal audit, according to Daly.
This matter was investigated by the FBI, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General, and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Sheldon.