By Heather Landi – Apr 24, 2023
Eighteen people, some of them practicing medical doctors, were criminally charged with participating in healthcare fraud schemes that exploited the COVID-19 pandemic and allegedly raked in $490 million.
The schemes resulted from false billings to federal programs and theft from federally funded pandemic programs, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in a news release.
In the widespread fraud takedown, federal authorities also targeted suppliers of COVID-19 over-the-counter tests who exploited federal partners by shipping tests to patients who did not want or need them. And the feds went after individuals who filed fraudulent claims to the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) and the manufacturers and distributors of fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards.
Two of the most significant criminal cases in this latest sweep were filed by federal prosecutors in the Central District of California.
Anthony Hao Dinh, D.O., allegedly bilked the federal government out of $150 million and he used these fraud proceeds for high-risk options trading, losing over $100 million, according to the DOJ in an announcement April 20.