Mississippi doctor avoids prison time for health care fraud

Published 10:04 pm Monday, March 20, 2023

A Mississippi doctor will not spend time in jail after pleading guilty to federal misdemeanor charges for his role in a health care fraud scheme that prosecutors said cost insurers about $515 million.

Dr. Gregory Auzenne, 51, of Meridian, entered a guilty plea Monday to charges related to his failure to disclose information involving expensive prescription pain cream. He was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine and $116,623 in restitution, according to the Clarion Ledger.

“I realize I made mistakes in the past,” Auzenne said at his sentencing hearing. “I’m really sorry. I will work harder than ever to be a better person.”

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Prosecutors said the fraud began in Mississippi and cost in-state insurers about $515 million and $1.5 billion nationwide. Auzenne was accused of causing about $18 million in fraud, in part by signing preprinted prescription forms for medicines. He was one of more than two dozen charged in the case. In 2020, he was acquitted on seven of eight counts against him. Jurors were unable to agree on the eighth count of making false statements.

Before he changed his plea, Auzenne was set to stand trial earlier in March.