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Silver Creek athletic club owner pleads guilty to health care fraud

Gary Wannemacher, 50, of Orchard Park, owner of the Spring Creek Athletic Club in Springville, pleaded guilty Monday before U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to health care fraud. He admitted to getting reimbursements from private health insurance companies for health programs he operated for people who never attended them and, in two cases, for two individuals who he claimed attended the programs after authorities confirmed that they had died.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., said Wannemacher faces a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced Sept. 21. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Moellering said Wannemanker between January 2009 and Dec. 31, 2012 submitted fraudulent claims to insurance companies.

Moellering said those included a Silver Sneakers program for which he claimed payment when the individuals he claimed had taken part in the program on a certain day were either out of town or had just had major surgery and were not permitted to take part in athletic endeavors after surgery.