LOS ANGELES — Medical service providers accused by UnitedHealth Group Inc. of submitting fraudulent bills were ordered by a federal magistrate judge in California on March 2 to provide responsive documents that are contained in a database, finding that the company that has the software license for the database is an alter ego of the providers (Almont Ambulatory Surgery Center LLC, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group Inc., et al., No. CV 14-03053-MWF, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35616).
SEATTLE — State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. presented sufficient evidence showing that a chiropractor routinely submitted bills for reimbursement under patients’ personal injury protection (PIP) for treatment that was not medically necessary, a federal judge in Washington ruled Feb. 27 in denying the chiropractor’s motion for summary judgment (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al. v. Peter J. Hanson, et al., No. C16-1085RSL, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31799).
SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on Feb. 27 denied a professional liability insurer’s motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying claims that a chiropractor insured submitted misleading, false and/or fraudulent bills to obtain personal injury protection (PIP) payments from his patients’ auto insurer (PACO Assurance Company, Inc. v. Peter J. Hanson, No. 17-0649, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31832).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 28 denied motions filed by five defendants seeking to be released on bail pending the appeals of their convictions for health care fraud, holding that they did not satisfy their burden of showing that their appeals raise a substantial question of law or fact as to warrant relief under the Bail Reform Act (United States of America v. Robert L. Bertram Jr., et al., Nos. 17-6527, 17-6528, 18-5001, 18-5002, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 5104).
MIAMI — State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. can amend a second amended complaint to remedy deficiencies in allegations that a clinic is subject to the requirements of the Health Care Clinic Act (HCCA) for allegedly receiving payments from third parties for inflated bills it prepared for patients involved in motor vehicle accidents, a federal judge in Florida ruled Feb. 16, finding that an amendment would not be futile (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Performance Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery LLC, et al., No. 17-CV-20028-KMM, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26841).
NEW YORK — A federal magistrate judge in New York recommended granting a motion for default judgment filed by three insurers accusing a doctor and two clinics of submitting fraudulent bills for personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage that would require the defendants to pay treble damages for violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Allstate Insurance Company, et al. v. Irage Yehudian M.D., et al., No. CV 14-4826, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27129).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Evidence concerning the recruitment of patients to a chiropractic clinic that allegedly fraudulently billed Medicare, as well as information showing that participants in the scheme put down large cash payments for expensive automobiles, is relevant, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled Feb. 16 in denying in part a defendant’s motion in limine (United States of America v. Claudia Lopez, et al., No. 15-CR-00054-JHM, W.D. Ky., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25818).
CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Kentucky erred when dismissing a count from an indictment charging a pharmacist with aggravated identity theft, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 20, finding that the defendant used the identities of a doctor and patient for the purpose of submitting a fraudulent claim to an insurance company (United States of America v. Philip E. Michael II, No. 17-5626, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 3918).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A New York appeals court panel on Feb. 9 affirmed rulings by a trial court judge that denied a defendant’s motion to suppress statements he made to police after a fire destroyed a rental property he owned, as well as evidence on his parole status, finding that exclusion of the evidence would not have resulted in an acquittal (People v. Samuel F. Crawford, No. 1482 KA 14-01983, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 4th Dept., 2018 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 953).
DENVER — A federal magistrate judge in Colorado on Feb. 12 recommended granting an insurance company’s motion to file a second amended complaint, finding that it sufficiently alleged that an enterprise exists under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act against an insurance adjuster accused of inflating a policyholder’s appraisal for roof damage following a hailstorm (Church Mutual Insurance Company v. Phillip Marshall Coutu, et al., No. 17-cv-00209-RM-NYW, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22569).
FLINT, Mich. — A statutorily created insurance program that provides insurance coverage for pedestrians struck by vehicles and passengers in automobile accidents can file a second amended complaint that provides additional details of a fraudulent scheme that submitted bills to insurance companies, a federal judge in Michigan ruled Feb. 13 (Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility v. New Grace Rehabilitation Center PLLC, et al., No. 17-11007, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22953).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in Connecticut did not err when finding that investors in three stranger obtained life insurance (STOLI) policies were victims under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act (MVRA) and ordering a man who pleaded guilty to insurance fraud to pay $1.9 million in restitution, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Feb. 9, explaining that investors would not have given the defendant their money if they were aware of the scheme (United States of America v. David Quatrella, No. 17-1786-cr, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 3189).
NEW YORK — A surgeon who was found guilty of one count of health care fraud, three counts of making false statements related to health care matters and two counts of money laundering was sentenced by a federal judge in New York on Feb. 7 to 196 months in prison and ordered to pay $7.2 million in restitution (United States of America v. Syed I. Ahmed, No. 17cr277, E.D. Mich.).
MADISON, Wis. — Three attorneys who represented a man during his prosecution for submitting fraudulent automobile insurance claims provided him effective assistance, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled Feb. 7 in denying a motion to vacate his sentence, holding that any issues that arose during the proceedings stemmed from his dishonesty with the court (John E. Henricks III v. United States of America, No. 17-cv-630, W.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19668).
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 31 found that the government presented sufficient evidence to warrant the convictions of three chiropractors who were found guilty in a fraud scheme involving personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, but overturned one defendant’s sentence on the ground that the judge erred when calculating the amount of loss (United States of America v. Joel Antonio Simon Ramirez, et al., No. 14-14689, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2717).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A doctor pleaded guilty on Feb. 5 in Kentucky federal court to intentionally distributing and dispensing controlled substances outside the course of professional practice and submitting fraudulent bills to Medicare and Medicaid and agreed to serve eight years in prison (United States of America v. Charles F. Gott, No. 15cr13, W.D. Ky.).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 30 overturned the conviction and sentencing of a doctor and home health care agency owner found guilty for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and health care fraud, holding that the government did not present sufficient evidence to support the jury’s findings (United States of America v. Pramela Ganji, et al., No. 16-31119, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2279).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania appeals court panel on Jan. 26 affirmed a doctor’s sentence for illegally prescribing opioid medications and submitting fraudulent bills to insurance companies after finding that the jury was properly instructed about the state’s standards for properly prescribing the drugs (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Lawrence P. Wean, Nos. 1165 EDA 2016, 1167 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 240).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York was ordered by a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 26 to recalculate the amount of loss an insurance company incurred as part of a fraud scheme, finding that the judge erred when including $15,228 in his calculations (United States of America v. Julian Brown, No. 16-2841-cr, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1943).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 24 ruled that the government adequately alleges that a man should face charges of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States as a result of his role in a scheme to illegally obtain insurance for buses that were part of a commercial transportation company (United States of America v. Yalin Liu, No. 16cr42, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11243).