Facing up to 610 years in federal prison, prominent South Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen’s trial on charges of Medicare fraud began last week.
According to prosecutors, Melgen defrauded the government out of $190 million in Medicare payments between 2004 and 2013. Among the 76 counts against him is a claim by the government that he sought (and received) Medicare reimbursements for procedures done on both eyes of patients who only had one.
Prosecutors say Melgen’s practice ran in an assembly-line fashion, treating up to one hundred patients per day, allowing him to bill more to Medicare in one year than any other doctor in the United States. He allegedly lied to Medicare about his patients’ conditions, allowing him to perform unnecessary tests, carry out unneeded treatments, and bill Medicare for procedures he never carried out.
In addition to carrying out unnecessary treatments, Melgen is alleged to have billed the government multiple times for one dose of a drug that costs over $2,000.
Melgen will be forced to answer to other charges after this trial is over, as he has been charged with bribing United States Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to enforce a contract in his native Dominican Republic that would allegedly benefit his business. Menendez was indicted on federal corruption charges relating to the alleged transaction in the spring of 2015.
Melgen is free at present on a bond of $18 million.
The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.