Here are eight physician fraud cases since Jan. 1:
- Wayne County, Mich.-based physician Francisco Patino, MD, was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for distributing more than 6.6 million doses of medically unnecessary opioids. In September 2021, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and pay and receive healthcare kickbacks, and money laundering.
- Raleigh, N.C.-based ENT Anita Louise Jackson, MD, was found guilty of adulterating medical devices for use on patients, among other fraud charges, and must pay $4.79 million, the U.S. District Attorney's Office said Jan. 27 in a news release.
- Former Naples, Fla.-based physician Omar Saleh pleaded guilty in a $2.6 million fraud scheme. Beginning in April 2020, Dr. Saleh participated in a scheme in which he received kickbacks for signing orders for medically unnecessary genetic testing.
- Francis Joseph, MD, was convicted of misappropriating $250,000 in government COVID-19 relief funds. He was convicted of theft in healthcare and wire fraud and is facing a maximum penalty of 20 years for the count of wire fraud.
- Former physician Michael Ligotti was sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to surrender his medical license for a $746 million scheme involving substance abuse treatment centers.
- Great Neck, N.Y.-based gastroenterologist Morris Barnard, MD, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and must pay $1.4 million for a Medicare billing fraud scheme. In March, Dr. Barnard pleaded guilty to submitting more than $3 million in bills to Medicare for gastroenterological procedures that he never performed.
- Kishor Vora, MD, owner of Owensboro (Ky.) Heart and Vascular and Owensboro Medical Practice, paid $931,500 to settle a Medicare fraud case with the U.S. Justice Department for referring patients for genetic testing in exchange for an estimated $335,700 in kickbacks.
- Jeffrey Tauth, MD, a cardiologist at Hot Springs (Ark.) National Park Medical Center and National Park Cardiology Services, has agreed to pay $900,000 to resolve claims alleging he violated the False Claims Act. Between September 2013 and August 2019, Dr. Tauth allegedly submitted claims to Medicare for cardiac stents he inserted on patients that were not medically necessary.