The scheme was simple enough.
The labs would pay Dr. Eduardo Canova, Dr. Jose Maldonado and nurse practitioner Keith Wichinski. Then the medical professionals would order an unneeded laboratory test from one of the labs. Later, they’d bill the cost of the test to Medicare and other federal healthcare programs.
Founders of Unified Laboratory Services, Spectrum Diagnostic Laboratory and a slew of other medical testing companies in North Texas used this process to pull in more than $300 million from federal healthcare programs by billing for fraudulent tests.
The medical professionals also made off with a fair sum in bribes, court documents allege.
Dr. Maldonado collected more than $400,000 in kickbacks for billing over $4 million worth of lab tests, and Dr. Canova got $300,000 for more than $12 million in fraudulent tests.
The founders of several labs, alongside several of the doctors and nurses they allegedly bribed, were indicted on federal fraud charges in the Northern District of Texas on yesterday. Marketing professionals were also amongst the 10 people indicted, according to a press release.