News and Press Releases

Las Vegas Podiatrist Sentenced to 33 Months for Submitting Fraudulent Bills to Medicare

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2005

Las Vegas, Nev. - A Las Vegas podiatrist was sentenced today to 33 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release, for fraudulently billing Medicare for surgeries not performed and services not rendered, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson handed down the sentence today against NICK T. NGUYEN, D.P.M., age 40, a licensed Nevada podiatrist operating at 3009 West Charleston Boulevard, in Las Vegas. DR. NGUYEN was convicted by a jury in March of 67 counts of Health Care Fraud, after they found that he had fraudulently billed Medicare for ingrown toenail surgeries for 16 patients, when in fact he rendered routine foot care, and for office visits and surgical procedures on the same day, when in fact he had not rendered the two separate services.

In order to conceal the scheme, DR. NGUYEN listed fraudulent diagnosis codes on Medicare claim forms and falsified progress notes in order to receive the reimbursements from Medicare. DR. NGUYEN also waived co-payments and charged his cash customers significantly lower prices than he billed Medicare.

Medicare regulations do not permit a physician to be reimbursed for rendering routine foot care or for office visits and surgical procedures performed on the same day, unless a significant separately identifiable service above and beyond the usual care associated with the procedure is provided.

"Significant resources have been devoted by the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office to this investigation and prosecution," said U.S. Attorney Bogden. "The case demonstrates our commitment to preventing health care fraud in Nevada." The defendant is free on bail pending his October 4, 2005 surrender date.

The case is being investigated by Special Agents with the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Crane M. Pomerantz and Andrew Duncan.

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