A Derby optometrist pleaded guilty Thursday to wire fraud in a scheme to collect more than $500,000 to pay for eye exams that were never performed.
Wade D. Abbey, 47, pleaded guilty in a Wichita federal court to five counts of wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom’s office said.
An indictment filed in March 2012 alleged that Abbey and his wife, Mindy L. Abbey, both of whom were optometrists, worked for Visions Doctors of Optometry. They were paid an hourly wage and additional fees for each full eye exam they conducted. He inflated the number of eye exams they performed and provided false information to an accountant who paid them based on the false information.
In his plea, Abbey admitted that between January 6, 2010, and June 23, 2010 that he sent e-mails claiming he provided 974 eye exams and his wife provided 892, which he knew was not true.
As a result of the fraud, he was paid $583,060.
Sentencing is set for May 16. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count, as well as an order to pay restitution. Co-defendant Mindy Abbey is awaiting trial.