10 Kentucky residents charged in nationwide health care fraud investigation
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Ten Kentuckians have been charged in one of the biggest-ever health care fraud take-downs across the U.S.
Six of the 10 charged come from Louisville.
Yesdel Acosta, Eduardo Chinea-Martinez, Osmaro Ruiz, Dr. Peter Steiner, Dr. Bingston Crosby and Lacy Black face a wide range of charges. They're accused of illegal activity ranging from the operation of fraudulent medical clinics and pharmacies to the prescription of controlled substances to people who didn't need them.
Russell Coleman, the U.S. Attorney for Western Kentucky, said more arrests are on the way.
According to an indictment, an office on Fourth Street in Louisville was one of two locations used by Yesdel Acosta and Eduardo Chinea-Martinez to generate $4.7 million in fake medical bills.
"The defendant stole the identity of two Kentucky doctors and numerous patients to unlawfully bill for services never rendered," Coleman said.
Ruiz is accused of creating a false front pharmacy at a now vacant store on Preston Highway.
“He stole and used the identity of patients and doctors to bill for prescriptions for patients that they never received," Coleman said.
A psychiatrist, Dr. Peter Steiner, is accused of unlawfully distributing opioids.
"Dr. Steiner prescribed medically unnecessary drugs," Steiner said.
According to Coleman, chiropractor Crosby and Black defrauded taxpayer money.
"Dr. Cosby paid Black, who was a runner or assistant, to recruit Kentucky Medicaid and private auto insurance patients to treat at his chiropractic clinic,” Coleman said. “Now his runner, Black, promised the patients cash to receive treatment at this clinic."
Search warrants were also done at a Fort Knox pediatrician's office, four Louisville pain clinics and an Elizabethtown oncologist's office recently. Those investigations are ongoing.
“Doctors have a duty to do no harm and provide competent care to their patients,” said D. Christopher Evans, Special Agent In Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Louisville Field Division, in a statement. “The message we are sending today is clear. We will not tolerate drug dealers in lab coats. If you’re a doctor and you’re prescribing dangerous narcotics in a reckless or irresponsible manner, we’re coming after you.”
Nationally, more than 590 people were charged in health care fraud schemes worth over $2 billion.
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