LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A federal grand jury has indicted a Los Angeles podiatrist on fraud charges for billing Medicare for procedures on patients that turned out to have no feet or to have been dead.
Prosecutors said on Friday that Robert Ken Kasamatsu, 41, used the names and numbers of about 100 Medicare beneficiaries, some of whom he had never seen, to create and submit bogus claims totaling more than $600,000 between 1996 and 2000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeannie Joseph said Kasamatsu obtained Medicare information for the fraudulent bills from the nursing homes where he sometimes saw patients.
He submitted bills for "two-foot" services on about 40 Medicare recipients who had had one or both feet amputated, and for 30 people who had died, Joseph said. She added that in some cases, Kasamatsu treated one foot while claiming to have treated both feet.
"A lot of people called into Medicare when they got their statements and noticed that there were these charges from this doctor and they had never seen him," Joseph said. "They got a number of complaints and that's what started the ball rolling."
He was indicted by a grand jury in Santa Ana, California, on Wednesday on two health care fraud charges. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.