The U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez accosted a former Chief of Podiatry for the Veterans Affairs’, hailing from the Northern California Health Care System, for carrying out a health care fraud along with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and sentenced him with six years and six months imprisonment. The defendant, Anthony Lazzarino, along with associate Peter Wong, having formerly been the CEO of Sunrise Shoes and Pedorthic Service Corporation, were caught in engaging in a defrauding scheme in California. According to evidence, the two individuals defrauded the Veterans Affairs through overbilling customers for custom work along with services that were documented but never supplied.
The two associates also engaged the services of Peter Wong’s former employee, Jai Aing Chen, for falsifying statements to the VA in terms of where the shoes were manufactured. The national contract applied for came up to over $11 million per year, applied for by Jai Aing Chen on instructions from Lazzarino and Wong. The federal jury put forward their evidence and thereby found Lazzarino and Wong guilty of committing healthcare fraud, along with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in 2019. Their third associate, Jai Aing Chen, was also charged in 2016. According to the evidence presented, the three associates presented falsified and fabricated documents in order to collect the contract, and caused suffering to thousands of veterans who were regularly in contact with Sunrise Shoes.
The case was investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office, Office of Inspector General, Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, the Department of Veterans Affairs Police Service and prosecuted by the Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee S. Bickley. While this case is one of many in which trusted and well-reputed operations duped clients over false documentation, there are many agencies that suffer from damage in reputation from the actions of some. If you or anyone you know would like to know the legalities of healthcare fraud and how to protect your business from it, feel free to call the Healthcare Fraud Group on 888-402-4054 for a free consultation.