Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence entered July 24, 1986 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Criminal Division, No. CC 8607380A.
William F. Manifesto, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Andrea F. McKenna, Assistant Deputy Attorney General, for Com., appellee.
Wieand, Kelly and Popovich, JJ. Wieand, J., joins. Popovich, J., concurs in the result.
[ 366 Pa. Super. Page 468]
The sole issue raised by this appeal is the surprisingly novel question of whether a sentence of consecutive terms of probation may legally be imposed. Appellant, Gerald M. Levine was convicted of ten counts of violation of the fraud and abuse control section of the Public Welfare Code following entry of an open plea of nolo contendere to the
[ 366 Pa. Super. Page 469]
charges. Appellant was sentenced, inter alia, to ten consecutive sentences of five-years probation. We find no merit in appellant's contention that consecutive terms of probation are illegal, and affirm judgment of sentence.
We set forth the facts, and sentence, as stated by the trial court:
Dr. Levine was a 'provider' under the Department of Public Welfare Medical Assistance Program. As such he would, by contract, render dental service to Medical Assistance Recipients. In the instant cases, however, he fraudulently submitted invoices for payment which were not based upon actual and necessary services performed. As part of Defendant's plea of nolo contendre [sic] he also agreed to restitution to the Office of the Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Section in the amount of Two Thousand Eighty-Two ($2,082.48) Dollars and forty-eight cents, and to restitution to the Department of Public Welfare in the amount of Twenty-four Thousand Eight Hundred Eighty-five ($24,885.00) Dollars. This Court then imposed a fine of Ten Thousand ($10,000.00) Dollars, payable to the County of Allegheny and sentenced Defendant to ten five-year probations, each imposed consecutively.
Appellant's sole contention raised on appeal concerns the legality of his sentence of ten consecutive five-year probationary terms; in support of this contention, he argues the imposition of consecutive terms of probation is illegal because it is not expressly authorized by any statute. He notes that consecutive sentences of incarceration are specifically authorized by 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9757, but no comparable authorization exists for probationary terms. He argues further that the sentencing statute, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9721, is ambiguous; and that the power to impose consecutive terms cannot be inferred from the sentencing ...