Clinic owner sentenced: 78 months and $1.7M in restitution for Medicare fraud

A federal judge sentenced a former owner and operator of three Los Angeles medical clinics to serve 78 months in prison and pay almost $1.7 million in restitution for his participation in a scheme to defraud Medicare, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Through the payment of illegal kickbacks and by billing for services never provided, the owner of the clinics submitted over $4.5 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.

Scheme

The former owner and operator of Columbia Medical Group Inc., Life Care Medical Clinic, and Safe Health Medical Clinic admitted, as part of his guilty plea, that he, with the help of others, paid illegal cash kickbacks to patient recruiters who brought patients to the three clinics. The kickback payments were ongoing from February 2010 through June 2014. The former clinic owner also admitted to billing Medicare for lab tests that were unnecessary or never provided. The lab test claims were supported with false documentation created by the owner and his co-conspirators. The scheme resulted in $4,526,791 in false billing and Medicare paid $1,668,559 on those claims.

Sentencing

The former clinic owner pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud on Aug. 18, 2015. He was sentenced on January 4, 2016.