Slater gets 4-year deferred sentence |

Slater gets 4-year deferred sentence

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Dr. Gerald Slater, the retired pediatrician convicted of bilking Medicaid out of $55,000, was given a four-year deferred sentence and community service on Thursday.

That means unless Slater gets in more trouble during the next four years, he won’t serve any prison time. If he fulfills his obligations, the doctor will have the conviction wiped off his record.

Ninth District Judge T. Peter Craven sentenced Slater, giving him 200 hours of useful public service in addition to the deferred prison sentence.

Slater was also supposed to pay $55,000 in restitution on Thursday, but his check was made out to the wrong party, so he now has until 5 p.m. today to pay back the money.

Slater, 59, of Glenwood Springs was indicted by a Colorado grand jury on March 7, 2003, on two charges of theft, two charges of computer crime and two charges of offering a false instrument for recording in the first degree ” all felonies. If convicted on all charges, Slater faced up to 54 years in state prison.

But Mark Zammuto, prosecutor for the state’s Medicaid Fraud Unit, said he was more interested in getting the money back than punishing Slater. As a result, Slater pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft.

According to a grand jury indictment, during 1997, 2000 and 2001, Slater treated 54 “neonates” ” a term that refers to babies from birth until they’re 30 days old ” at Valley View Hospital. All the parents of the 54 babies in question were eligible for Medicaid.

Slater then billed Medicaid at the highest possible code for all 54 babies ” a code that would only be used if the babies were in extremely critical condition. Only one of the babies was in critical condition.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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