5 additional medical miscreants imprisoned for playing the patient ‘ghost visit’ games
Five more California physicians have been sent to federal prison for taking part in a widespread insurance fraud conspiracy:
> Ramanathan Prakash, MD, a 66-year in Northridge
> Alexander Popov, MD, age 46 of Los Angeles
> Lana LeChabrier, MD, age 62 in Santa Barbara
> Emilio L. Cruz, MD, age 61 of Carson
> Derrick Johnson, MD of Richmond
According to court records, the above doctors pretended to operate out of fake medical clinics in the cities of Carmichael, Richmond and Sacramento.
The typical behavior of the scamsters was that of Emilio Cruz, a so-called neurologist, who for years submitted hundreds of claims for payment to Medicare for patients he had supposedly evaluated in California, even while he was living and working in North Dakota.
The four physicians were caught up in a comprehensive fraud investigation in May, 2010 by federal agents, who discovered that more than $5,000,000 in fake billing had been paid out by Medicare, nearly all of which included requests for payment of services of hundreds of non-existent ‘patients.’
According to FBI reports, for example, criminal doctor La Chabrier was known to have received more than $400,000 in false payments from Medicare for patients she had signed off on, but had never seen. She attempted to flee the United States and was apprehended at the Canadian border. She was found to be carrying an expired passport; a bottle of hair dye and $50,000 in cash.
She is now serving a six-year term in federal prison.
Here is more on this preposterous doctor-fraud case:
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