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Florida Surgeon Who Saved Rapper 50 Cent’s Life Is Sentenced to Seven Years Imprisonment for Fraudulent Insurance Billing 

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Florida Surgeon Who Saved Rapper 50 Cent’s Life Is Sentenced to Seven Years Imprisonment for Fraudulent Insurance Billing 

In 2000, a Florida doctor, Moses deGraft-Johnson, was one of the surgeons who operated on 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson III) after he sustained multiple gunshot wounds in Tallahassee, Florida. DeGraft-Johnson had owned and operated the Heart and Vascular Institute of North Florida, which was a doctor’s office and an outpatient catheterization laboratory in Tallahassee. 

According to prosecutors, from early 2016 through February 2020, deGraft-Johnson submitted inflated billing codes to insurance providers, including Medicare and Florida Medicaid. DeGraft-Johnson replaced billing codes for diagnostic angiographies with billing codes for more expensive balloon angioplasties or atherectomies. According to the indictment, deGraft-Johnson also billed insurance providers when no catheterization had taken place and for procedures when he was out of the country.

In December 2020, deGraft-Johnson pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, fifty-six counts of health care fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. DeGraft-Johnson’s co-defendant pled guilty to one count of attempted conspiracy to commit mail fraud. DeGraft-Johnson has been ordered to pay over $28.4 million in restitution and sentenced to seven years in prison.

Read the indictment here

Arkansas Lab Owner Accused of Submitting Over $100 Million in False Claims of Urine and COVID-19 Tests

On November 2nd, Billy Joe Taylor was indicted for sixteen counts of health care fraud and one count of money laundering. According to the indictment, Taylor helped submit false claims for urine drug tests and COVID-19 tests to Medicare from February 2017 – May 2021. Taylor allegedly purchased five testing labs and misappropriated their confidential Medicare beneficiary and provider information in order to bill for unnecessary medical tests. 

Taylor allegedly submitted over $100 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare through the labs he purchased. He then allegedly used the proceeds to purchase six properties, over two dozen vehicles, several hundred musical instruments, firearms, and designer shoes. If convicted, the government will seek a forfeiture of the goods and a money judgment of $12.5 million. Taylor also faces up to ten years in prison. 

Read the indictment here

Cross-Examination of Ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes Concludes

On December 7th, prosecutors concluded their cross examination of Elizabeth Holmes at trial in San Jose, California. Holmes founded a now defunct blood testing startup, Theranos, in 2003 and has been on trial for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud since August 31st, 2021. Holmes was allegedly engaged in criminal schemes to defraud investors, doctors, and patients. 

During the cross-examination, Holmes conceded she did not tell investors that Theranos was performing blood tests on modified third-party devices and admitted that she was responsible for Theranos’ financials. Holmes, however, continued to stand by her testimony and defended her actions during the cross-examination as those driven by a desire to protect the trade secrets and intellectual property of her startup. Prosecutors sought to poke holes in her testimony and noted that she shared other trade secrets with many partners in non-disclosure agreements.

Read more about the Theranos trial here.

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