An unlicensed plastic surgeon was arrested on a 21-count indictment last week, on charges that he concealed his practice to steal almost $360,000 in disability insurance benefits. Last year, the Westbury resident, Brad Jacobs, was also indicted on 22 charges, including assault, grand larceny and unauthorized practice of medicine.
In November 2017, Jacobs, together with licensed physician Nicholas Sewell, was indicted in New York County on charges that they engaged in a four-year scheme to illegally perform plastic surgeries on more than 60 patients, including causing permanent disfigurement to one patient. Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s second indictment, filed on Jan. 12 in Nassau County, charged Jacobs with concealing his ongoing illegal practice of medicine and his associated income from his disability insurance carrier and the Nassau County Department of Social Services in order to fraudulently obtain almost $375,000 in benefits.
“Jeopardizing New Yorkers’ lives by practicing without a medical license is shameful enough. It’s even more heinous to use that illegal medical practice to commit fraud and steal from taxpayers—in particular from the most vulnerable among us,” said Schneiderman. “We will continue to aggressively prosecute those who commit fraud at the expense of New York taxpayers and consumers.”
Since 2007, Jacobs has remained unlicensed as a physician or as any other medical professional. However, the AG’s investigation revealed that from September 2012 to June 2016, Jacobs and Sewell allegedly defrauded patients undergoing costly cosmetic surgery procedures—each averaging between $8,000 and $10,000—by falsely representing that Jacobs was authorized to practice medicine.
According to the AG’s investigation, from 2013 to present, Jacobs allegedly engaged in a massive insurance fraud and welfare fraud scheme. As the AG’s office alleges, prior to losing his medical license, Jacobs had purchased a disability insurance policy with Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company. After losing his license in 2007, Jacobs filed a disability claim with Northwestern. A settlement was reached in June 2013, in which Jacobs received a lump sum payment of $750,000 and ongoing payments of more than $100,000 per year from Northwestern, payable to a trust established for his benefit. To qualify for ongoing disability payments, Jacobs was required to file annual statements with Northwestern certifying that he was not employed or otherwise practicing as a physician. From 2014 to 2017, Jacobs filed four such annual statements with Northwestern, fraudulently obtaining more than $360,000 in ongoing disability insurance payments.
According to the AG, while Jacobs was receiving money from Northwestern—more than $1.3 million—Jacobs allegedly filed sworn documents certifying that he was in need of, and entitled to receive, food stamp benefits. Between 2013 and 2017, Jacobs allegedly filed eight recertification statements with the Nassau County Department of Social Services (DSS) which affirmed, under penalty of perjury, his continued eligibility to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Benefits.
In every recertification, Jacobs allegedly concealed not only the income from his unauthorized medical practice with Sewell, but also the $750,000 settlement he received in trust from Northwestern in June 2013, the ongoing $108,000 per year in disability payments from Northwestern from 2014 to 2017, and his additional income of nearly $100,000 from a start-up skin care company, Nouveau Genesis. Instead, Jacobs allegedly falsely claimed that he had little or no income and resources and that he was being supported by his elderly parents. Moreover, Jacobs allegedly concealed from the Nassau DSS that he received an additional $18,000 in deposits per year into his personal bank account from the trust, which he then used for entertainment and leisure, including expenditures of more than $10,000 at Whole Foods and Waldbaums, and $3,900 at Bagel Boss. In total, Jacobs collected almost $14,000 in food stamp benefits between 2013 and 2017.
On Jan. 12, Jacobs was arrested on a 21-count indictment filed by the Attorney General’s Office in Nassau County, charging him with one count of second-degree grand larceny; one count of second-degree insurance fraud; one count of third-degree grand larceny; one count of third-degree welfare fraud; one count of misuse of food stamps; eight counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing; seven counts of second-degree perjury; and one count of first-degree scheme to defraud.
Jacobs is in custody on a $4 million bond or $2 million cash bail, previously set on the New York County indictment.