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Feds: $30 Million Billed For Nonexistent Scans

September 3, 2012
Written by: , Filed in: Medical Ethics, Practice Management
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In May 2010, the radiologist who ran United Medical Diagnosis in Flushing, New York, left the business. A man who worked at the office took over, continuing to bill Medicare and Medicaid for more than $30 million in radiological services over the next two years. During that time, the office was actually closed. No scans took place.

That’s what U.S. and New York prosecutors say, at least. They announced late last week that they had charged Ting Huan Tai, also known as Warren Tai, with fraud. “A seizure warrant seeking the defendant’s alleged ill-gotten gains, including a Lamborghini automobile, was also unsealed,” said a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

The New York Post—under the very Postian headline “‘Fraud’: Bye bye ’borghini”—reported that after the asset seizure, Tai, 34, was able to make bail only because his parents put up their Brooklyn home as collateral.

From May 2010 to March 2012, prosecutors said, Tai billed Medicare about $20 million and Medicaid about $12 million using the identity of the radiologist who had left the business. Prosecutors said the radiologist knew nothing of the scheme and told the FBI he did no work during the period in question. Authorities are not revealing the doctor’s name.

In court on Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Campos said:

Mr. Tai is not a doctor. The defendant is accused of billing the government for radiological services for Dr. John Doe, who didn’t work there.

Tai responded to the charges by saying, “No response.”

Prosecutors said Tai didn’t even run the scheme from the radiology business. Instead, he and others whom he paid are accused of doing the fake billing from his Manhattan apartment.

In the news release, U.S. attorney Loretta E. Lynch said:

The defendant sought to enrich himself and fund his lifestyle first by stealing a doctor’s identity and then using that stolen identity to steal Medicare and Medicaid funds.

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