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Press Release

Orthopedic Surgeon Convicted of Health Care Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant was one of the top prescribers of opioids in Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Canton orthopedic surgeon has been convicted by a federal jury in Boston for his role in a health care fraud scheme.  

Dr. Olarewaju James Oladipo, 60, of Canton, was convicted on Dec. 12, 2023 of 10 counts of health care fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled sentencing for March 12, 2024 at 1 pm. Oladipo was arrested and charged in March 2022. 

“In the midst of an opioid epidemic that is claiming thousands of lives, Dr. Oladipo deliberately exploited the medical system for financial gain, becoming one of the state’s most prolific prescribers of opioids,” said Amanda Strachan, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division. “Our office remains steadfast in its commitment to aggressively pursue those who compromise the sanctity of our health care system – especially those who use opioids to fuel their schemes.”

“Dr. Oladipo is no longer just one of the top prescribers of highly addictive opioids in Massachusetts—he is now a convicted felon—for cheating federally funded health care programs, taxpayers, and patients, for work he did not do,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “The unscrupulous tactics used in this scheme are what drive our investigators on a daily basis to combat healthcare fraud.”

“By submitting fraudulent medical claims and falsifying patient records, Dr. Oladipo put greed and personal gain above his professional responsibilities,” said Special Agent in Charge Roberto Coviello of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “This conviction underscores the commitment of HHS-OIG and our law enforcement partners to protecting the integrity of taxpayer-funded federal health care programs and holding criminals accountable for their actions.”

“The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General is dedicated to protecting the public’s safety and the U.S. Postal Service. The special agents of the USPS OIG will tirelessly investigate those who choose to defraud federal benefit programs and put profits above the safety of their patients. This verdict is a clear message that the USPS OIG is dedicated to rooting out corruption and bringing those responsible for these crimes to justice. The USPS OIG is thankful for the great longstanding relationships we have developed with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to combat healthcare frauds,” said Matthew Modafferi, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG), Northeast Area Field Office.

From approximately January 2016 through December 2019, Oladipo devised and executed a scheme to defraud health care benefit programs by falsely billing for patient visits. Specifically, Oladipo used billing codes for more complex—and thus more expensive—services that were not provided (a practice that is sometimes referred to as “upcoding”). Oladipo falsified medical records of patient visits to reflect examinations and services that were not performed. During the four-year period, Oladipo frequently billed for more than 60 patients per day and sometimes more than 90 patients per day. The result was that many, if not most, of Oladipo’s patient visits on such days could have only lasted five minutes or less. However, Oladipo used billing codes that typically corresponded to visits of 15, 25, 30, or even 45 minutes. Additionally, Oladipo ensured this high flow of patients to his practice by prescribing powerful, highly addictive opioids at a rate that made him one of the top prescribers of such drugs in Massachusetts.

The charges of health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud each provide for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, FBI SAC Cohen, HHS-OIG SAC Coviello and USPS-OIG SAC Modafferi made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office; the National Insurance Crime Bureau; and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Evan D. Panich and William B. Brady are prosecuting the case.   

Updated December 14, 2023

Health Care Fraud