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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Detroit Podiatrist Charged for Role in $13.9 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

A Detroit podiatrist was charged in an indictment unsealed today for his alleged participation in a $13.9 million health care fraud scheme involving fraudulent claims for unnecessary foot surgeries and other podiatric services that were never rendered.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios of the FBI’s Detroit Division and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.

Lawrence Young, D.P.M., of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, was charged with six counts of health care fraud in an indictment filed in the Eastern District of Michigan.  Young was arrested this morning and made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Pattiof the Eastern District of Michigan.  

According to the indictment, Young owned Dearborn Podiatric Services and Georgetown Podiatric Services, located in Dearborn, Michigan, and Sterling Heights, Michigan, respectively.  The indictment alleges that between January 2010 through 2016,  Young falsely conveyed to his podiatry patients that they needed weekly or bi-weekly shots and minor surgeries to prevent hammertoe, which were allegedly medically unnecessary.  As a result, these patients returned to his practice on a regular basis every month for shots and minor surgeries.  Additionally, Young allegedly billed Medicare for other podiatry services, such as Unna Boots, which were never given.   
According to the indictment, Young submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare in the amount of approximately $13.9 million.    

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  

The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.  Trial Attorney Amy Markopoulos of the Fraud Section is prosecuting the case. 

Any patient of Dr. Young’s concerned about their treatment, or who needs access to his/her patient file can reach out to Nicole McGee, FBI Victim Specialist, at (313) 496-4348.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 3,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $11 billion.  In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

Health Care Fraud
Press Release Number: 
Updated April 13, 2017