A Rockland man pleaded guilty Tuesday to health care fraud and embezzlement from a health care benefit program, according to U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank.

Michael A. Morrison, 42, entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Federal court documents show that Morrison was employed at the Trade Winds Health, Swim and Tan Club in Rockland from Sept. 23, 2002, through July 21, 2016. He was hired as an athletic trainer before getting promoted in 2005 to serve as manager and executive director of the health club as well as its physical therapy practice, known as Coastal Physical Therapy.

He was responsible for supervising the physical therapists and their assistants and was placed in charge of purchasing, billing and scheduling.

Between 2014 and 2016, Morrison billed about $175,000 in false claims for reimbursement to Medicare, MaineCare, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and a Department of Veterans Affairs health care program. Some claims were false because Morrison exaggerated the length of time therapists spent with patients, according to court documents.

Frank, in a news release, said Morrison embezzled more than $26,000 from the health club by using a health club credit card to make personal purchases on Amazon.com. Prosecutors also allege he stole about $4,500 in cash that he failed to deposit in the health club’s bank account.

Morrison faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.


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