Skip to main content
Press Release

West County Doctor Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison for Making a False Claim to Medicare

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

St. Louis, MO – Dr. Brij R. Vaid, M.D., 58, of Ladue, MO, was sentenced today to 24 months of imprisonment and order to pay restitution of $176,912.86 to the Medicare and Missouri Medicaid programs.  Dr. Vaid previously pleaded guilty on October 29, 2019, to making a false claim to Medicare.  Dr. Vaid’s co-defendant in this case was Nurse Practitioner Donna Waldo.  Waldo was sentenced on February 10, 2020, to four years probation, a $4000 fine, and $48,669 as restitution to Medicaid.  The Honorable Audrey G. Fleissig imposed the sentence today. 

According to court documents, Dr. Vaid was a medical doctor who operated St. Louis Internal Medicine (SLIM), where he saw patients at his medical office in St. Louis County, Missouri.  Waldo was a nurse practitioner and advanced practice registered nurse.  Waldo worked under the supervision of Dr. Vaid at SLIM. 

As alleged in the Superseding Indictment, Dr. Vaid had a large number of patients who received Schedule II controlled substance prescriptions typically every 30 days, including opioid pain relief drugs such as Oxycodone® and Hydrocodone and anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax®.  Dr. Vaid was the only person at his office who had the credentials to legally prescribe these pain management and anti-anxiety drugs. 

Dr. Vaid traveled frequently, including trips to New Jersey and India.  Given the number of patients needing drugs and his own scheduling challenges, Dr. Vaid often signed numerous prescriptions for controlled substances in advance of patients' visits -- before patients had even visited the office or had an examination. Dr. Vaid instructed his staff, including Waldo, to provide these pre-signed prescriptions for controlled substances to patients later, while he was absent from the office.  After patients visited his office, Dr. Vaid and Waldo caused claims for reimbursement to be presented to Medicare and Medicaid in which they represented that Dr. Vaid had met face-to-face with the patients and engaged in complex medical decision-making during the office visits.  

In his plea agreement, Dr. Vaid admitted that on February 23, 2015, he was out of the country in India.  Waldo saw patient B.T.  Dr. Vaid knew that Ms. Waldo would be seeing patient B.T. while Dr. Vaid was in out of town.  Dr. Vaid caused the presentation of a false claim to Medicare related to the February 23, 2015, office visit. This claim, submitted under CPT code 99214 to Medicare, falsely stated that Dr. Vaid had provided a face-to-face office visit with patient B.T. when he was really out of town.  Before imposing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig ruled that Dr. Vaid’s conduct created a reckless risk of bodily injury to his patients, given the powerful prescription opioid drugs that he repeatedly provided to patients.

In his plea agreement, Dr. Vaid further admitted that he violated the terms of his probation agreement with the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts when committing this offense.

“The Missouri Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit works tirelessly every day to root out, investigate, and aggressively prosecute instances of healthcare fraud in Missouri. Working with our federal partners, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office, is a crucial component of that effort, and this case is a great example of how state and federal partnerships can lead to great results" said Eric Schmitt, the Attorney General of Missouri.  

“Dr. Vaid threatened the health and lives of his patients by prescribing powerful drugs, including opioids, without even a simple examination,” said Curt L. Muller, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  “Together with our State and Federal law enforcement partners, we will guard taxpayer-funded government healthcare programs and those dependent on their services.”

This case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, with critical assistance from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Narcotic and Dangerous Drugs.

Updated March 2, 2020

Health Care Fraud