14 anti-kickback cases in 2023

Here are 14 anti-kickback cases Becker's has covered so far in 2023:

  1. Ndudi Aniemeka, MD, owner of Chicago-based Boycin Medical Clinic, and his wife and clinical administrator Obiageli Aniemeka, were ordered to pay more than $3 million for home health agency kickbacks and Medicare fraud.
  2. Madison, Tenn.-based SouthEast Eye Specialists, SouthEast Eye Surgery Center and the Eye Surgery Center of Chattanooga agreed to pay $17 million to resolve alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute. 
  3. Paul Koch, MD, the former owner of a chain of Rhode Island ophthalmology practices, agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle kickback allegations.
  4. Alexander, Ark.-based physician Joe David May, MD, pleaded guilty to 102 months in prison for his role in a $12 million scheme to defraud Tricare. He was charged with 22 counts, including conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, lying to the FBI, falsifying records and aggravated identity theft. 
  5. Saginaw, Mich.-based Covenant HealthCare and two physicians paid $69 million in three civil settlements for allegedly violating the False Claims Act.
  6. Michael Villarroel, MD, a U.S. Navy physician, pleaded guilty to a scheme where he defrauded the Navy by faking or exaggerating injuries to get reimbursements intended to help service members recovering from traumatic injuries.
  7. Arlington, Texas-based ophthalmology provider Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers paid $2.9 million to resolve false claim allegations that it paid kickbacks to optometrists to induce referrals of cataract surgery patients. 
  8. Meridian, Miss.-based physician Gregory Auzenne, MD, pleaded guilty to a federal charge in connection with a $1.5 billion nationwide pain cream fraud scheme. He was originally indicted for violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, three wire fraud charges, three conspiracy charges and for making false statements.
  9. Francisco Ortiz, former COO of Morgantown, W.Va.-based Wedgewood Physicians, and James Mersing, MD, were charged for allegedly stealing $650,000 from the practice.
  10. The Cameron-Ehlen Group, an ophthalmological distributor doing business as Precision Lenses, was ordered by a Minnesota jury to pay $43 million for allegedly violating anti-kickback laws.
  11. Hudson, Ohio-based physician Deepak Raheja, MD, was sentenced to prison and must pay $2.2 million after pleading guilty to his role in a pharmaceutical kickback scheme.
  12. Twenty-three Michigan residents, including physicians, were charged for their alleged involvement in two schemes to defraud Medicare of more than $61.5 million by paying kickbacks and billing CMS for unnecessary medical services at physician clinics that were not provided.
  13. Richard Reid of Astoria, Ore., was sentenced to two years in prison for five federal felonies related to illegal kickbacks involving a medical testing lab where he was vice president of sales and co-owner.
  14. Kishor Vora, MD, a physician practicing in Owensboro, Ky., settled in a Medicare fraud case, agreeing to pay $931,500 to settle claims from the U.S. Attorney's Office that he sent patients unnecessary Medicare-reimbursed orders for testing in exchange for kickbacks from National Molecular Testing Corp.

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