United States Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref Announces Eastern District of Washington’s Participation in Coordinated National Health Care Fraud Enforcement Action
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington
Spokane, Washington – United States Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref announced criminal charges against two defendants in connection with millions of dollars in fraud prosecuted in the Eastern District of Washington, as part of the Department of Justice’s 2023 National Health Care Fraud Enforcement Action. The Eastern District of Washington cases charge a physician and pharmacist in connection with separate schemes involving telemarketing fraud and falsifying COVID-19 vaccine information.
“These enforcement actions, including against one of the largest health care fraud schemes ever prosecuted by the Justice Department, represent our intensified efforts to combat fraud and prosecute the individuals who profit from it,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department will find and bring to justice criminals who seek to defraud Americans and steal from taxpayer-funded programs.”
“Health care fraud harms elderly and vulnerable members of our community, undermines confidence in our health care system, and diverts precious funds from vital government programs,” said United States Attorney Waldref. “It has a corrupting and devastating impact on our community. We will not rest in our pursuit of health care providers who abuse their positions of trust for their own personal benefit. Our office will continue to work hand-in-glove with our law enforcement partners to ensure that these fraudsters are brought to justice.”
The charges announced today by U.S. Attorney Waldref are part of a strategically coordinated, two-week nationwide law enforcement action that resulted in criminal charges against 78 defendants for their alleged participation in health care fraud and opioid abuse schemes that resulted in the submission of over $2.5 billion in alleged false billings. The defendants allegedly defrauded programs entrusted for the care of the elderly and disabled, and, in some cases, used the proceeds of the schemes to purchase luxury items, including exotic automobiles and yachts.
The Eastern District of Washington charges stem from two separate cases. In United States v. David Antonio Becerril, a grand jury indicted a Yakima area physician on sixteen counts of fraud, false statements, and conspiracy in connection with a telemarketing scheme and conspiracy to fraudulently bill Medicare for millions of dollars in medically unnecessary genetic tests and medical equipment. In United States v. Reynolds, an East Wenatchee pharmacist was charged by information with one count of making false statements in connection with health care matters for falsifying COVID-19 vaccination information for Washington state employees.
The Becerril and Reynolds cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington. The other cases in the National Enforcement Action are being prosecuted by the Department of Justice Criminal Division, Health Care Fraud Unit’s Strike Forces in Brooklyn, Dallas, Detroit, the Gulf Coast, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, and Tampa; the Health Care Fraud Unit’s National Rapid Response Strike Force; the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Florida, Southern District of Georgia, District of Idaho, Western District of Kentucky, Eastern District of Louisiana, Middle District of Louisiana, District of New Jersey, Eastern District of New York, Southern District of Ohio, District of South Carolina, Southern District of Texas, and Eastern District of Wisconsin; and the State Attorney Generals’ Offices for Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania, with assistance from the Health Care Fraud Unit’s Data Analytics Team. Descriptions of cases involved in today’s enforcement action are available on the Department’s website at www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/health-care-fraud-unit/2023-national-hcf-court-documents.
United States v. Becerril is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Allie Jensen and Assistant United States Attorneys Dan Fruchter and Tyler H.L. Tornabene, and was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), Seattle Field Office. United States v. Reynolds is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Dan Fruchter and Tyler H.L. Tornabene and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Spokane Resident Office and HHS-OIG.
The Fraud Section uses the Victim Notification System to provide victims with case information and updates related to cases charged by the Fraud Section in the National Enforcement Action. Victims with questions may contact the Fraud Section’s Victim Assistance Unit by calling the Victim Assistance phone line at 1-888-549-3945 or by emailing email@example.com. Victims with questions about the cases charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office may contact (509) 353-2767. To learn more about victims’ rights, please visit www.justice.gov/criminal-vns/case/united-states-v-steven-diamantstein.
A complaint, information, or indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
United States v. Becerril, 1:23-CR-02029-SAB
United States v. Reynolds, 2:23-CR-00076-MKD
First Assistant United States Attorney and Public Affairs Officer
509-353-2767 or USAWAE.Media@usdoj.gov
Updated June 28, 2023
Health Care Fraud