A Rockland man will spend four months in federal prison for health care fraud and embezzlement from a health care benefit program.

Michael Morrison, 42, will also pay $206,000 in restitution and spend another four months in home confinement after his release. He was formerly the manager of Trade Winds Health, Swim and Tan Club in Rockland, which also operated a practice called Coastal Physical Therapy.

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 Veterans Administration health care program, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In some claims, Morrison exaggerated the length of time therapists spent with patients. He also made claims for cancelled appointments, for services that he provided even though he was not properly licensed and using names of therapists who were not working on those dates.

Morrison’s defense attorney, David Beneman, wrote in a memo that Morrison started making those false claims to keep the business alive during financial trouble.

“He was wrong and has admitted to his conduct and accepts full responsibility,” Beneman wrote. “He should have told the owners the Club is not making a profit, or left the job. But he did not.”

Prosecutors said Morrison also embezzled about $31,000 from the club by using a business credit card for personal purchases on Amazon and by stealing cash that was meant for the club’s bank account. He pleaded guilty to the charges on Dec. 11.

Megan Gray can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:
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