A federal jury in Detroit convicted a Detroit area physician for his role in a $6.7 million Medicare Fraud scheme, the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday.
The fraudulent doctor
Jonathan Agbebiyi, 62, of Sterling Heights, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and six counts of health care fraud. Agbebiyi was a staff physician at three clinics which operated in Livonia, Michigan, between 2007 and 2010: Blessed Medical Clinic, Alpha and Omega Medical Clinic, and Manuel Medical Clinic.
Patients unnecessarily tested
According to the evidence presented during his trial, Agbebiyi, an obstetrician/gynecologist, joined a conspiracy to bill Medicare for medically unnecessary neurological tests.
Some of the tests involved sending an electrical current through the arms and legs of the patients. Clinic employees, who lacked any meaningful training, administered the diagnostic tests. The patients never received any follow up treatment by neurologists.
Evidence at trial showed that the patients were not referred to the clinics by their primary care physicians, or for any other legitimate purpose, but rather were recruited with prescriptions for controlled substances, cash payments, and fast food. The three clinics then billed the Medicare program for various diagnostic tests that were medically unnecessary.
"This doctor exposed patients to neurological testing solely to generate money for himself at the expense of the Medicare program. We are grateful for the hard work that uncovered this betrayal
of medical ethics and theft of taxpayer funds," said United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.
More suspects charged
Nine other peoples involved with the three clinics have been convicted for their roles in the scheme.
A sentencing date for Agbebiyi has been set for Aug. 13, 2012. Each count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and health care fraud carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.