Returned Fugitive Sentenced to 2½ Years in Federal Prison for Role in Medicare Fraud Scheme Featuring Bogus Physical Therapy Claims
SANTA ANA, California – A former chiropractor who was on a federal “Most Wanted” list of fugitives was sentenced today to 30 months in federal prison for his role in a $15 million Medicare fraud scheme in which claims were submitted for physical therapy services that either were not reimbursable or were not provided.
David Y. Kim, 57, who previously lived in the Arlington Heights district of Los Angeles, was sentenced by United States District Judge David O. Carter. Judge Carter also ordered Kim to pay $690,519 in restitution to Medicare.
Kim pleaded guilty in September 2019 to one count of health care fraud and one count of receiving illegal kickbacks in exchange for Medicare referrals. In 2015, after meeting with federal law enforcement agents for an interview, Kim fled the United States for South Korea. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) later included Kim on its public list of Most Wanted Fugitives.
In February 2019, Kim was found to be residing in Vietnam and he was apprehended in Ho Chi Minh City pursuant to an Interpol Red Notice. FBI agents then brought Kim back to the United States, where he has remained in federal custody.
According to his plea agreement, between March 2012 and January 2014, Kim owned and operated New Hope Clinic, a Koreatown-based sole proprietorship where he caused fraudulent claims to be submitted to Medicare for physical therapy services that were not provided to patients. Kim received approximately 55 percent of the illegal Medicare proceeds. During the course of the scheme, Medicare paid $690,519 on the fraudulent claims from Kim’s clinic. Kim personally received illegal proceeds totaling $379,785.
Co-defendants Joseff Sales, 42, of Buena Park, Danniel Goyena, 42, also of Buena Park, the owners and operators of several companies involved in the scheme, paid New Hope for Kim’s referral of Medicare beneficiaries to their business. Sales, Goyena and Marlon Songco, 43, of Sylmar, hired licensed physical therapists to occasionally supervise Kim’s unlicensed staff, who performed services that were not reimbursable under Medicare guidelines.
While at New Hope, Medicare beneficiaries often received only a massage and acupuncture – services that Kim knew that Medicare did not cover – from individuals not licensed to provide physical therapy. Kim and his co-conspirators then caused fraudulent claims for physical therapy to be submitted to Medicare.
Sales, Goyena and Songco each pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges in this matter and were given prison sentences. Sales and Goyena were held jointly liable for $7,896,007 in restitution.
This matter was investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alexander F. Porter of the Major Frauds Section and Ali Moghaddas of the General Crimes Section.