Bay Area Doctor Charged With Conspiracy To Commit Mail Fraud In Connection With Disability Fraud Scheme
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal grand jury indicted George David and Linda Nguyen with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and substantive mail fraud, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge John Bennett.
According to the indictment filed January 29, 2019, and unsealed today, David, 78, a San Francisco physician, and Nguyen, 66, of Union City, engaged in a scheme to defraud California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. The SDI program is designed to provide partial wage replacement benefits to eligible California workers who are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. To receive SDI benefits, a claimant must file a claim for benefits supported by a Physician/Practitioner Certification attesting to the claimant’s disability. According to the indictment, David provided fraudulent Physician/Practitioner Certifications to support fraudulent SDI applications for non-disabled claimants. In addition, the indictment alleges that Nguyen facilitated the fraud by assisting non-disabled persons with the execution and submission of fraudulent documents. The indictment further alleges that Nguyen charged the non-disabled persons for processing their fraudulent applications. In sum, the defendants each were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349, and one count of substantive mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341.
The defendants were arrested this morning and made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu. Both defendants were released on bond. Magistrate Judge Ryu scheduled David’s and Nguyen’s next appearances for February 8 and February 15, 2019, respectively, for arraignment and identification of counsel.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If found guilty, the defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison for each count in the indictment. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Vieira is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kimberly Richardson. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI and Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General.