Details emerge in federal investigation into Anthony Todt
A federal affidavit portrays Anthony Todt, who has been charged with killing his wife and three children, as heavily in debt and the owner of a physical therapy business that was crumbling.
The affidavit, unsealed Wednesday, alleges Todt committed health care fraud for years with flagrant disregard for regulations governing claims to Connecticut Medicaid and private insurance companies.
The affidavit also sheds light on his private life and extensive financial troubles. Public records show that the Todts and their businesses owed almost $100,000 in unpaid loans, and recently had been evicted from a condominium they were renting in Celebration, Fla.
The affidavit, prepared by Jeffrey Anderson, a special agent with the Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, indicates Todt and his business, Family Physical Therapy, took out loans or cash advances from more than 20 commercial lenders. He had stopped paying staff members of the business, who then stopped showing up for work, it said.
The FBI and other authorities discovered the dead bodies of Anthony Todt's wife, three children and dog when they went to the family's Celebration home as part of the fraud investigation. He is charged with four counts of premeditated murder and one count of animal cruelty.
Todt, who is being represented by a public defender, had his first court appearance Thursday afternoon in Osceola County and did not enter a plea. The judge found probable cause for the charges against Todt.
Todt was seen wearing an orange jumpsuit and was being held in a caged-in area in the back of the courtroom before being led out. The judge did not set another court date. Todt is being held without bail.
In a separate court proceeding Thursday related to the eviction case against the Todts, a judge granted the plaintiff’s motion to take possession of the family’s condominium, which they signed a one-year lease for in May 2019. Court records show the couple was being sued by P and Y Dordoy LLC for failing to make a $4,921 rental payment due on Dec. 1, 2019.
In connection with the Connecticut investigation, "Deputies made contact with Anthony in the home, along with federal agents, and he was immediately detained," Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said Wednesday. "A safety check was conducted, where deputies discovered four deceased individuals inside." The deaths were ruled homicides. The cause of death has not been announced.
The alleged scheme
The FBI and the HHS-OIG began investigating Todt and Family Physical Therapy around April 2019. The probe uncovered that Todt and Family Physical Therapy were allegedly "engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicaid, Anthem, Cigna, and other health care benefit programs by billing those plans for physical therapy services that were not provided," the affidavit reads.
It describes a pattern: Todt was getting short-term loans or cash advances for "borrowers in need of an immediate cash influx." He then would lie about how often he treated patients to make more money, the affidavit alleges, and then used money obtained through falsified claims from Medicaid, Medicare and private health insurance payments to pay off the loans. His businesses transferred over $99,000 to the loan companies from his bank account.
The federal investigation studied six main cases of Todt's patients. In one example, a patient did not receive physical therapy services from Todt and Family Physical Therapy after Oct. 25, 2017. Despite this, Todt and Family Physical Therapy billed Medicaid for PT services rendered on 55 dates between Jan. 1, 2018, and May 3, 2018. On 51 of those 55 dates, Todt also billed Cigna private insurance, per the affidavit. All told, Medicaid and Cigna paid Todt and Family Physical Therapy $9,894 for services that the patient did not receive, the affidavit claims.
Another patient interviewed denied going to Family Physical Therapy in 2016, 2018 and 2019. And yet, the affidavit said, Todt and the business billed Medicaid for 10 dates of service in 2016, 128 dates in 2018 and 40 in 2019, amounting to $21,493.
The affidavit further alleges that Todt and Family Physical Therapy sent out numerous bills for service on Saturdays, despite being closed on Saturdays.
Todt knew about the investigation, according to the affidavit, because on Nov. 21, 2019, federal agents spoke with him during a search of his offices on 7 Park Ave., Suite 4, and 744 Middletown Road, both in Colchester. Todt admitted to illegal practices and claimed sole responsibility. He said his family and his employees did not know of his actions.
"When questioned as to the motivation for committing this fraudulent scheme, Todt stated that he started borrowing money from lenders because it was 'easier,'" the affidavit said, "Todt stated that he kept having to bill for services that were not rendered to keep pace with the personal loans that he took out. When asked if he was living above his means, Todt replied, 'That's the best way to put it.'"
In the immediate days following the execution of the November search warrant, the affidavit states that Todt agreed to retain an attorney before meeting with authorities. He told agents that he would return from Florida to Connecticut on Dec. 8, 2019.
Agents also spoke with two Family Physical Therapy employees, who said that although Todt promised them he'd continue returning to Connecticut for work in late 2019, he never did.
Since agents did not hear from Todt or an attorney in December 2019, they reached out to a relative of Todt's on Jan. 7, 2020, the affidavit said. The relative said she was repeatedly unable to contact Todt recently, and that he had told her he'd be back in Connecticut to "address his legal problems" on various dates. He never followed through.
The affidavit said the relative contacted the sheriff's office in Florida for a wellness check, and the office conducted the check on Dec. 29. The affidavit said police found "the house he was thought to be living in was boarded up."
On Jan. 7, an agent went to Todt's Middletown Road Family Physical Therapy location and found a "Notice to Quit" on the door. It had been served by the state marshal on Jan. 6 and stated that Todt hadn't paid December rent on the property. The amount of outstanding rent was $6,290, including late fees, per the affidavit.
Multiple witnesses, as well as travel records, confirmed that Todt and his family had moved to Florida approximately two years ago for reasons relating to Todt's wife, possibly regarding her health, the affidavit said. He flew back and forth between Connecticut and Florida each week and worked in Connecticut on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Those who knew him described Todt as a well-liked physical therapist who coached youth soccer for a time in Colchester. He presented himself as a family man on social media. The community he left behind in Colchester was shocked to learn he could be implicated in murdering his family, let alone that he confessed to it.
Police said Todt's wife, Megan, and their children, Alek, 13, Tyler, 11, Zoe, 4, and the family dog, Breezy, had been dead since the end of December. He was taken into custody Monday and charged on Wednesday.
Day Staff Writer Julia Bergman contributed to this report.