Tallahassee Doctor Sentenced to Seven Years in Federal Prison for Performing Unnecessary Surgical Procedures on Patients and Defrauding Health Insurance Providers of $29 Million
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Dr. Moses de-Graft Johnson, 47, a dual citizen of the United States and Ghana, was sentenced to seven years in federal prison, for committing health care fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and aggravated identity theft. The sentence, following the defendant’s guilty plea on December 18, 2020, was announced by Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Court documents reflect, for almost four years, beginning in early 2016 until his arrest in February 2020, deGraft-Johnson performed hundreds of unnecessary, invasive surgical procedures of his patients in the Tallahassee area. deGraft-Johnson solicited his victims by establishing relationships with churches, nursing homes, a hospital, and an outreach organization. In addition to subjecting his patients to unnecessary surgical procedures, deGraft-Johnson victimized others by falsifying their medical records – reflecting surgical procedures that he did not perform. This conduct resulted in the creation of erroneous and misleading records that could cause future doctors to determine a mistaken course of medical treatment for many of his patients.
“This physician compromised the health and safety of his patients in favor of illegal profit,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Coody. “His acts not only violated the law, but the trust of his patients. With the assistance of our law enforcement partners, we remain vigilant to investigate and prosecute all who defraud our citizens for their own personal gain.”
“It's disturbing that a physician would be so driven by greed and indifferent to the well-being of his patients that he would perform medically unnecessary, invasive procedures and steal medical identities to boost profits," said Special Agent in Charge Omar Pérez Aybar of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General. "With our law enforcement partners, we will hold accountable individuals who perpetrate such egregious fraud and violate their oaths as physicians and Medicare providers.”
In addition to the term of imprisonment, the sentence included the forfeiture of assets in the United States and overseas, including luxury vehicles; jewelry; and homes in Manhattan, Southampton, New York, Miami, and Houston; as well as an order of $28,423,846 in restitution.
"This case is a direct result of the commitment by the FBI and our law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who willingly defraud American citizens,” said Rachel L. Rojas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “Instead of caring for his patients, this defendant targeted vulnerable members of our community, subjected them to unnecessary surgical procedures, and falsified documents so he could line his pockets with millions of taxpayer dollars. Fraud, like this, reduces the availability of critical resources and contributes to the rising cost of healthcare for all. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to investigate these crimes and prosecute all those who defraud the American public for their own personal gain."
This conviction was the result of the collaborative work of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Florida Attorney General. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew J. Grogan prosecuted the case.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.