Urologist Sentenced to Nearly Six Years in Prison for Fraudulent Billings of Nonexistent Patient Visits and Unnecessary Tests
LOS ANGELES – A urologist was sentenced today to 71 months in federal prison for submitting fraudulent billings totaling more than $700,000 to Medicare for medically unnecessary and nonexistent treatments, sometimes billing for purported patient visits miles apart and occurring at the exact same time.
Mark Wilfred Tamarin, 65, of Manhattan Beach, was sentenced by United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer, who also ordered him to pay nearly $345,000 in restitution.
After a seven-day trial in July 2019, a jury found Tamarin guilty of six counts of wire fraud and one count of attempted health care fraud. He has been in federal custody since the trial’s conclusion.
According to the evidence presented at trial, from 1987 until 2014, Tamarin was a partner at Advanced Urology Medical Offices (AUMO), which had offices in Torrance and West Los Angeles.
From January 2009 until January 2013, at AUMO, where the majority of the patients were covered by Medicare, Tamarin billed Medicare for services he did not and could not have performed and also ordered medically unnecessary tests. Tamarin covered Kindred Hospital, a sub-acute medical center in Ladera Heights, for AUMO. Kindred is a facility designed for patients with serious medical problems and in need of long-term care, but for whom a traditional hospital setting is unnecessary. There, he billed for numerous patient visits that never happened and for services he never provided. The evidence presented at trial showed that on multiple occasions between 2009 and 2013, Tamarin purportedly was in two places miles apart at the same time he was treating patients in both locations.
At his office at AUMO, Tamarin ordered medically unnecessary tests for his patients. In particular, he ordered two to three times the number of post-void residual (PVR) tests and renal ultrasounds for urology patients in comparison to his three medical partners. Tamarin ordered so many PVRs that the office’s medical assistants suggested that the office purchase a second PVR machine. Tamarin ordered these tests before speaking with or seeing a patient despite the fact that the tests themselves only were appropriate in limited medical circumstances.
In total, Tamarin caused more than $700,000 in fraudulent claims to be billed to Medicare, of which Medicare paid approximately $219,934 in fraudulent Kindred claims and $124,802 in medically unnecessary PVR and renal ultrasound claims.
This matter was investigated by the FBI and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Poonam G. Kumar of the Major Frauds Section.