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DA: Manhattan Doctor Deposited Patients' Checks Into Own Bank Account

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A Manhattan-based obstetrician deposited the checks of his patients into his personal bank account, defrauding the hospital he worked for out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, prosecutors say.

Dr. Lawrence Levitan, of Lawrence, N.Y., is accused of stealing $267,000 and has been indicted on charges of grand larceny, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records. Under his agreement with Beth Israel Medical Center, Levitan, 58, and the hospital were supposed to split insurance payments totaling more than $530,000, prosecutors said.

Additionally, prosecutors say that Levitan's taxable income for 2010 and 2011 was underreported because of the alleged fraud.

"Physicians are sworn to 'do no harm,' but Dr. Levitan is charged with doing just that by depositing hundreds of his patients' insurance checks directly into his personal bank account," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in a news release. "The scheme caused Beth Israel Medical Center to be defrauded out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. My Office, with the help of our partners in law enforcement, will continue to root out and prosecute those who commit fraud in our city."

A law firm spokeswoman said Levitan's attorney had no comment.

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