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Press Release

Former West Michigan Doctor Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

Performed Medically Unnecessary Sinus Surgeries In Gross Violation of Trust

          GRAND RAPIDS – U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that Daniel J. Castro, M.D. was sentenced to five years in federal prison, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,972,293.74 in restitution to victims of his criminal conduct, including the Medicare and Medicaid programs, numerous private health insurers, Bronson Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, and certain of his former patients. Chief United States District Judge Hala Y. Jarbou imposed the sentence in Lansing, Michigan.

          “The criminal activities of Dr. Daniel Castro – performing unnecessary sinus surgeries – are sickening” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “Dr. Castro brazenly trampled the core promise of the Hippocratic Oath – to act in the best interests of the patient – and did so for his own financial gain. Our health care system depends on patients being able to trust their medical providers at every step, especially when deciding to go under the knife. I’m grateful for the vast majority of providers who keep their promise, and we will do our very best to root out criminals like Dr. Castro who lie and steal for their own advantage.”

          "Dr. Castro violated his patients' trust by choosing to perform unnecessary surgeries and defrauded our health care insurance system in the process," said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. "Healthcare providers who perform medically unnecessary procedures compromise the integrity of our healthcare system and expose their patients to potential harm. Unnecessary medical procedures at the taxpayer's expense will not be tolerated, and the FBI will hold all providers accountable."

          On April 3, 2023, Dr. Castro pleaded guilty to making a false statement related to health care matters. At his sentencing, Dr. Castro did not contest that he engaged in schemes to defraud health care benefit programs from February 2015 to May 2017 as alleged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury. Those schemes included performing medically unnecessary sinus surgeries, which frequently involved falsifying medical records about his patients’ symptoms and the findings of CT scans to make it appear the surgeries were justified.  Dr. Castro also defrauded health care insurers by billing excisions of single lymph nodes, submandibular glands, and other glands of the neck as if he performed modified radical or selective neck dissections, which are complex and higher-paying procedures for cancer of the head and neck.

          Dr. Castro agreed that the intended loss totaled $5,091,272.03, representing primarily his billings to the health insurance companies for the fraudulent surgeries. Prior to sentencing, Dr. Castro made a $1 million payment toward his restitution obligation, which will be distributed to the victims of the offense as determined by the Court at sentencing. The Court ordered Dr. Castro to pay the balance owed to victims, and the United States will seek to enforce his financial obligation until the restitution amount is collected in full. At the sentencing hearing, the United States sought the maximum possible sentence of five years in prison.

          The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ron Stella and Adam Townshend.  

Health care fraud and abuse by medical providers can include, among other schemes, performing medically unnecessary procedures, billing for procedures or supplies a patient never received, “upcoding” (billing for higher paying procedures than the patient received), and double billing.  The public is encouraged to report suspected Medicare fraud by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or submitting the information online at  Health care fraud involving private insurance programs can be reported to the FBI at or by contacting the patient’s health insurance provider.


Updated May 29, 2024

Health Care Fraud