N.J. Plastic Surgeon Indicted for Third Time on Insurance Fraud Charges

October 14, 2004

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that An Essex County-based board-certified plastic surgeon has been indicted by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor for a third time on charges that the doctor fraudulently obtained tens-of-thousands of dollars in disability insurance payments when he was not disabled.

Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown said the State Grand Jury indictment charged Dr. W. Lance Kollmer, 56, of Mendham, Morris County, with three counts of theft by deception (2nd degree), attempted theft by deception (2nd degree), and theft by deception (3rd degree). A second degree crime carries a maximum penalty of up to ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. A third degree crime is punishable by up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

Kollmer also faces possible civil insurance fraud fines pursuant to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act. The case has been referred to the Board of Medical Examiners for appropriate action.

According to Gooden-Brown, Kollmer practiced plastic surgery at an office located on Old Short Hills Road in West Orange, Essex County. Kollmer was initially charged via a State Grand Jury indictment returned on May 31, 2002, with submitting false disability insurance claims to Sentry Insurance Company and to the American General Insurance Company.

It was alleged that from May, 1999 through May, 2000, Kollmer claimed that he was totally disabled from practicing his profession as a plastic surgeon. As a result of filing dozens of fraudulent claims, Kollmer obtained more than $300,000 in disability insurance payments to which he was not entitled. In fact, the indictment charged that Kollmer performed dozens of surgical procedures during the period he claimed total disability.

A second indictment returned on March 27, 2003, charged Kollmer with submitting false insurance claims to the Unum Provident Corporation. It was charged that between February, 2000 and January, 2003, Kollmer falsely claimed he was totally disabled and, as a result, was entitled to more than $9,000 in life insurance premiums.
The current indictment returned by the State Grand Jury alleges that between August, 2001 and March 2, 2004, Kollmer submitted false claims to the U.S. Life/American General Insurance Company and to the Hartford Insurance Company, essentially claiming he was totally disabled, could not practice medicine, and was entitled to be reimbursed for office overhead expenses and other long term disability insurance claims payments.

In total, U.S. Life/American General Insurance Company and the Hartford Insurance Company paid Kollmer $614,825 in disability insurance payments.

The indictment was handed up to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg, the Assignment Judge in charge of the State Grand Jury, on Oct. 12.

The case will be venued in Essex County where Kollmer will be ordered to appear in Court to answer the charges on a date to be determined.

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