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Feds accuse Chesterfield psychiatrist of $15M in health care fraud

ST. LOUIS — A psychiatrist from Chesterfield and his business partner have been indicted on federal charges for their involvement in what prosecutors said Thursday was $15 million in health care fraud.

Prosecutors said Dr. Franco Sicuro and Carlos Himpler, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, owned Genotec DX and Midwest Toxicology Group, which received over $15 million for performing drug tests. But prosecutors said the companies didn’t have the equipment required to perform the urine tests. Instead, they paid other labs $125 per sample, then billed Medicare and private insurance companies thousands of dollars per sample as if they had done the work themselves, authorities said.

To pull off the scheme, the two companies billed as if they had performed multiple tests on the same sample, and submitted them on different days with different billing codes.

One of the victims was a local union, United Food and Commercial Workers local 655, which paid Genotec DX $1 million for urine drug tests for seven union members from January to October 2015, and paid $150,000 to Midwest Toxicology Group, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of cash, investments accounts, real estate and luxury vehicles owned by both men. 

Sicuro is facing 19 charges in U.S. District Court in St. Louis and Himpler was named in 21 counts, including charges of conspiracy, health care fraud and money laundering. No lawyers are listed for either man in online court records, and a call to Sicuro’s Chesterfield office was not immediately returned.

Himpler is a former St. Louis-area resident who started several businesses here, the indictment says. 

Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch

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