Insurance cheat might be frail, but he's going to jail

Published: 2010-11-23 21:02:28
Author: MICHAEL HINKELMAN | Philadelphia Daily News | November 23, 2010

A Bala Cynwyd man told a federal judge yesterday that he stole almost $400,000 from Independence Blue Cross to prop up a financially struggling athletic club that he owned with his son-in-law.

"It didn't do as well as I thought . . . and I guess I lost my mental control and tried to make up for it, and I did that by cheating," Mark Levin said, adding that he never took the money for himself but plowed it back into the gym.

U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter sentenced Levin, 65, to a year and a day in prison and ordered him to make restitution of $399,883 to IBC. (Advisory sentencing guidelines called for 24 to 30 months behind bars.)

Pratter gave Levin until Feb. 1 to report to federal prison.

Court testimony revealed that Levin, a frail man, suffers from a litany of ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, sarcoidosis, bipolar disorder and depression.

Defense attorney Creed C. Black, Jr. said that Levin was "old, sick and broken" and that a prison sentence was unnecessary.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Eve said that white-collar criminals have to do hard time, too, if society is to be protected.

Authorities said that Levin and Michael Karp owned Hatfield Athletic Club and Rehab One, a chiropractic office at the club.

The men hired Raymond Brozek, a chiropractor, to work there from 2004 through '06. Levin demanded that Hatfield workers be seen by Brozek often so that he could bill IBC, the feds said.

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