Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beverly Hills Dentist And His Office Manager Charged With Insurance Fraud by Los Angeles D.A.'s Office - Nurse Charged In Related Case

A Beverly Hills dentist and his office manager have been charged with insurance fraud and other felony counts in a state criminal case pending in Los Angeles County Superior Court. 
On May 3, 2012, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office (Healthcare Fraud Division) charged Beverly Hills dentist Tom Kalili on a 101 felony count complaint (Case No. BA394506) alleging insurance fraud, grand theft and tax evasion. The allegations relate primarily to Dr. Kalili's acts as the owner and operator of Beverly Hills Medical Suite (BHMS). The office manager Claudia Ventura was also charged with ten felony counts.
A felony complaint is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. Dr. Kalili and Ms. Ventura are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  
What is alleged in the criminal complaint? It is a wide-ranging complaint. First, according to detectives from the California Department of Insurance (CDI), Dr. Kalili, acting as the owner and operator of BHMS, directed his office manager Ms. Ventura to knowingly submit fraudulent billing statements to four separate insurers in the amount of $339,799.99. 
It is alleged that BHMS submitted billing for services not rendered and in most cases the billing involved emergency dental procedures that were never performed. It is also alleged that BHMS submitted false medical reports in support of the fraudulent billing, which generally included fictitious mechanisms of injury.
Second, the investigators looked at Dr. Kalili's own insurance claims for automobile accidents and filed counts relating to them. The case alleges that Dr. Kalili submitted two fraudulent insurance claims on behalf of himself and his son to two automobile insurers. These claims included medical reports alleging he received treatment in auto accidents in 2005, 2008 and 2009 and his son for treatment received for injuries sustained in a 2009 auto accident. The detectives contend that these medical reports were fraudulently prepared and that the dentist listed as providing treatment for the injuries claimed by Kalili denied performing the services listed.
Third, the complaint alleges counts relating to tax counts: filing false tax returns/failure to file tax returns and tax evasion.  
In a related case, Marti Quinn, a nurse who allegedly received over $11,000 from a fraudulent claim submitted by BHMS was charged in a separate criminal case with insurance fraud. 

Commentary:  It appears that this case was under investigation since June 2010 after a report was sent to the California Dept. of Insurance, fraud division, that BHMS was submitting fraudulent medical bills for emergency dental work that was not provided to patients. Thus, these type of cases generally take a long time to investigate and charge.
This investigation involved a number of different agencies and companies: the California Dental Board, California Department of Insurance, California Franchise Tax Board, Anthem, United Health Care, Blue Shield, CIGNA, AAA, and Mercury Insurance. With computerized records, coordinated investigations are easier to conduct and becoming more common.
I am seeing a trend in investigating whether the medical provider has submitted fraudulent claims relating to his or personal life. This allows the government to bring in evidence that the person has engaged in other bad conduct and allows them an alternative theory at trial if there are viable defenses in billing related to their business.

As a condition of bail, the Superior Court issued an order while this case was pending precluding Dr. Kalili from submitting any insurance claims or engaging in any "insurance billing activity" while this case was pending. Otherwise, the dentist can continue to practice while this case is pending.  
Posted by Tracy Green, Esq. Please email Ms. Green at tgreen@greenassoc.com or call her at 213-233-2260 to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation. 
Any questions or comments  should be directed to Tracy Green, a very experienced insurance fraud attorney and dentist attorney at tgreen@greenassoc.com. The firm focuses its practice on the representation of licensed professionals, individuals and businesses in civil, business, administrative and criminal proceedings. They have a specialty in representing licensed health care providers in criminal matters in California and throughout the country. Their website is: http://www.greenassoc.com


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