Orthopedic surgeon sentenced in $31M 'trip-and-fall' scheme


Orthopedic surgeon Andrew Dowd, MD, was sentenced to 102 months in prison for his role in a "trip-and-fall" fraud scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said April 25. 

Dr. Dowd, along with injury lawyer George Constantine, was convicted in December 2022 of multiple fraud counts, the Justice Department said. Between 2013 and 2018, they ran an extensive fraud scheme with more than 400 patients who were told to falsely say they had tripped and fallen at a certain location. Eventually that escalated to the duo staging accidents, instructing patients to go to a location and deliberately trip and fall.

After the staged falls, patients were referred to attorneys, including Mr. Constantine and Marc Elefant, who then filed fraudulent personal injury lawsuits. Patients were also told to see physicians, including Dr. Dowd, who performed unnecessary surgeries to boost settlement fees.

The entirety of the scheme racked up more than $31 million.

Along with his sentence, Dr. Dowd will have to pay $2.9 million in forfeiture.

Mr. Constantine was sentenced to 102 months and $4.8 million in forfeiture. Mr. Elefant was sentenced to 24 months in prison and $955,281.54 in restitution.

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