SAVANNAH, Ga. – Criminal charges have been filed in the Southern District of Georgia against a Florida man as part of the Department of Justice’s 2023 National Health Care Fraud Enforcement Action.
“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.”
“This nationwide enforcement action demonstrates that the Criminal Division is committed to fighting health care fraud and opioid abuse by prosecuting those who allegedly exploit patients and health care benefit programs for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s announcement includes some of the largest and most complex cases that the Department has prosecuted, and demonstrates the Department’s commitment to seeking justice for those at all levels of the healthcare industry who put profits above patient care, from professionals in doctors’ offices to executives in corporate boardrooms.”
“In collaboration with our law enforcement partners, we are committed to protecting the integrity of our nation’s health care system and medical safety net programs from those who would exploit them for profit,” said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.
The charges announced during the 2023 National Health Care Fraud Enforcement Action are part of a strategically coordinated, two-week nationwide law enforcement sweep 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 more than $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.
In the Southern District of Georgia, Christopher Ciani, 40, of Land O’ Lakes, Fla., is charged via Information with one criminal count of Conspiracy. The information alleges that Ciani, in 2019, operated a company called Ciani Medical Solutions and conspired with others in a scheme targeted at the Medicare program. As alleged in the information, Ciani brokered relationships between laboratories and various marketing groups that recruited Medicare beneficiaries and sent doctors’ orders and specimens for genetic testing to the laboratories in exchange for approximately $1.4 million in illegal kickbacks and bribes. The case is being prosecuted by Acting Assistant Chief Brynn Schiess of the Dallas Strike Force and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Grover of the Southern District of Georgia.
Criminal Informations contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Descriptions of other 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.
The 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 Southern District of Georgia, Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Florida, 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, Eastern District of Washington, and Eastern District of Wisconsin; and the State Attorney Generals’ Offices for Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania are prosecuting the cases in the National Enforcement Action, with assistance from the Health Care Fraud Unit’s Data Analytics Team.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.