Phoenix/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 15, 2024
Peoria Doctor Admits to $3.75 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme, Faces Up to 10 YearsSource: Chris Potter, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Peoria has been rocked by the guilty plea of one of its medical professionals in a fraudulent healthcare scheme amounting to millions. Dr. Linh Cao Nguyen, a physician running a mobile medical practice, has admitted to defrauding health care benefit programs, including heavy hitters like Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield, to the tune of nearly $3.75 million, according to Phoenix Business Journal.

As the legal proceedings unfold, Nguyen, who used four separate business entities for his operations, orchestrated a billing bonanza by submitting thousands of bogus claims between 2016 and 2021. He even went as far as appointing staff in Vietnam to forge his signature on medical records, the indictment reveals. Playing a dangerous game, he billed at physician rates for services provided by others like nurse practitioners and unlicensed interns, walking the fraudulent claims straight into insurance coffers. After being revoked from Medicare due to alleged billing abuses, Nguyen didn't skip a beat and simply shifted gears to his other companies, continuing his deceitful practices. Hoodline reports that Nguyen's guilty plea includes agreeing to pay restitution of $1.15 million to his beleaguered victims.

The scheme was so brazen that it caught the unwavering eye of federal investigators. A collaborative effort by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service led to the unveiling of Nguyen's ploy. The consequences that the Peoria doctor now faces for his crimes include up to 10 years in the slammer, a maximum $250,000 fine, and the potential of three years probation, as per the Phoenix Business Journal.

Nguyen's mobile medical business, which sent office staff members to visit patients at their homes and living facilities, was a cover for an empire of lies. With judgment day set for May 28 before U.S. District Judge John Hinderaker, the remorseful physician has but a brief window to ponder over a misadventure that has severely tarnished the sanctity of the healthcare system.