Orthopedic surgeon Andrew Dowd, MD, and injury lawyer George Constantine were convicted by a Manhattan federal jury on Dec. 16 of running a $31 million slip-and-fall scheme that defrauded New York City businesses and insurance companies, according to a Dec. 16 report from Law360.
Dr. Dowd and Mr. Constantine allegedly ran a scheme using 400 fake patients to stage falling incidents on sidewalk cracks, cellar doors and potholes. The patients were referred to Mr. Constantine, who filed fraudulent personal injury lawsuits.
Patients then sought medical treatment from Dr. Dowd, who told them they were required to have surgery to pursue the lawsuit. Patients would receive $1,000 to $1,500 in incentives following the orthopedic procedures.
A jury of seven women and five men deliberated for two days before finding Mr. Constantine guilty on three counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud, and finding Dr. Dowd guilty on six counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud.
Dr. Dowd earned around $3 million from the scheme, according to the report. Eight other individuals involved with the scheme have also been found guilty, including pain management specialist Sady Ribeiro, MD, attorney Marc Elefant, a litigation funder, two fraud ringleaders and three 'runners' who recruited patients.