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Eye doctor

Optometrical instrument

A former Montana optometrist got probation for submitting false insurance claims while practicing in Laurel.

Gary Alfred White was sentenced on Feb. 22 for one count of Medicaid fraud and one count of theft by insurance fraud, both misdemeanors.

Prosecutors originally charged White with felonies for filing thousands of dollars in insurance claims for unnecessary procedures and nonexistent conditions. The charges were later reduced to misdemeanors, and one count, false claims to a public agency, was dropped.

White filed claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield and Medicaid from 2012 to 2014 while working in a Laurel Walmart optometrist office. Some of the claims, totaling $2,100, were for unnecessary procedures.

White also submitted claims that said 23 other patients had a localized eye tumor, but he retained no records that showed his work. Those claims totaled $4,300, and he received $1,900 in reimbursements.

As part of the investigation, a separate doctor who reviewed the case files determined 21 of them didn't show signs of the tumor. 

White pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charges on Feb. 22, and Judge Michael Moses sentenced him during the same hearing.

The full sentence calls for a two-year deferred sentence on each count and probation during that time. He was ordered to pay $6,550 in fines and restitution.

After working in Laurel, court documents say White worked in Plentywood, but he's no longer in practice there.


General Assignment Reporter

Reporter for The Billings Gazette.