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California Doctor Convicted On Charges Of Defrauding Medicare Of $12 Million

hospital-3548735_640.jpgA Southern California doctor was convicted by a Federal grand jury this month on charges related to his alleged involvement in $12 million in fraud against Medicare and medical device adulteration.

The 54-year-old physician was found guilty of seven counts of health care fraud and one count of adulteration of a medical device on October 16. Federal prosecutors say he was involved in a scheme to recruit Medicare beneficiaries to his practice, where he gave them false diagnoses of venous insufficiency.

Upon such a diagnosis, investigators say the doctor then prescribed the Medicare beneficiaries a vein ablation procedure, which was medically unnecessary, then submitted a claim to Medicare for reimbursement. However, they say the doctor did not code the procedures as such, opting to code them as a different procedure with a higher reimbursement from Medicare using an illegal practice known as "upcoding."

All in, the doctor is alleged to have submitted about $12 million in false claims to Medicare, with Medicare reimbursing $4.5 million of the claims prior to discovering the alleged fraud.

Additionally, the doctor was alleged by Federal investigators to have repackaged and reused contaminated catheters that had been authorized by the FDA as a single-use device.

The doctor was found guilty after a six-day trial in the chambers of U.S. District Judge George Wu of the Central District of California. He is scheduled to be sentenced on the conviction in mid-March of next year.

The charges in the case were the result of an investigation by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which is a team composed of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General.

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.

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