Detroit doctor pleads to $5.7 million fraud scheme, illegal structured cash transactions

In a Detroit federal court, a Michigan physician pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud and one count of structuring cash transactions to avoid bank reporting requirements. Laran Lerner admitted to billing Medicare $5.748 million for patient visits and diagnostic testing that were never performed. According to the Department of Justice announcement, Lerner “lured” patients to his office with prescriptions for controlled substances and submitted fictitious medical records to make it appear that the controlled substances were medically necessary.

Additional charges

The structured cash transactions were multiple deposits of cash intended to avoid the requirement that domestic banks report cash deposits of $10,000 or more to the Secretary of the Treasury. Specifically, Lerner admitted to depositing $5,000 at various bank branches on 14 consecutive days in April 2013 in order to avoid the requirement. Sentencing is scheduled for January 24, 2016.

Cooperative effort

The investigation and prosecution of Dr. Lerner were a cooperative effort of Leslie Caldwell of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice; Office of Barbara L. McQuade, the District Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan; Paul M. Abbate, LaMont Pugh III, and Jarod J. Koopman, Special Agents in Charge of the Detroit Field office of the FBI, HHS Office of Inspector General for the Chicago Region, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation division, respectively.