United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York

04/15/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/15/2019 14:52

Former Most Wanted Fugitive Pleads Guilty to Multi-Million Dollar Health Care Fraud

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, Etienne Allonce, the former co-owner of Medical Solutions Management, Inc. (MSM), a medical equipment company in Hicksville, New York, pleaded guilty to health care fraud. In September 2018, Allonce was expelled from Haiti where he had fled 11 years earlier following the filing of an indictment in the Eastern District of New York charging him with billing Medicare and Medicaid for medical supplies never delivered to patients and never ordered by MSM. Prior to his return to the United States, Allonce was placed on the Most Wanted List of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). Allonce pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Joseph F. Bianco.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the guilty plea.

'With today's guilty plea, Allonce will now pay the price for defrauding American taxpayers in order to benefit himself,' stated United States Attorney Donoghue. 'The defendant's decision to flee to Haiti may have delayed holding him accountable for his crimes, but he could not escape the resolve of this Office and our law enforcement partners to prosecute those who steal from the Medicare and Medicaid benefit programs that serve our most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly.' Mr. Donoghue expressed his grateful appreciation to the agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the HHS-OIG, for their investigative work in the case.

According to court filings, MSM, formerly co-owned by Allonce and his wife, Helen Michel, provided durable medical equipment and supplies to nursing homes. Between April 2003 and March 2007, Allonce and Michel submitted approximately $10 million in false claims to Medicare and Medicaid, seeking payment for medical supplies purportedly provided to patients at nursing homes when those medical supplies had not actually been provided. Allonce fled the United States hours before federal agents arrested his wife. Michel was tried and convicted by a jury in August 2012. She was sentenced in April 2013 to 12 years' imprisonment, and ordered to forfeit $1.3 million that had been seized by the government.

When sentenced, Allonce faces up to 10 years in prison, as well as restitution and a fine.

The government's case is being handled by the Office's Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Charles P. Kelly, Burton T. Ryan, Jr. and Madeline O'Connor are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

ETIENNE ALLONCE
Age: 55
Port au Prince, Haiti

E.D.N.Y. Docket No 07-CR-889 (JFB)