Nurse sentenced in allergy-testing fraud
A nurse who ran an allergy-testing fraud scheme was sentenced in Chicago to nine years in prison and ordered to pay back $2.6 million, U.S. officials said.
Officials said nurse John Froelich, 52, formerly of Harwood Heights, Ill., was the ringleader among nine defendants. The nine pleaded guilty to federal charges of submitting fraudulent bills totaling $11.5 million to more than 200 insurance companies, which paid approximately $2.6 million in false claims.
Using the name American Institute of Allergy, consisting of a group of businesses in the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and Phoenix, Froelich and his fellow defendants advertised free blood tests, then drew blood from about 4,000 patients, officials said.
No one was injured in the scheme, but the institute used unqualified individuals to administer allergy shots without proper medical evaluation or supervision to 800 people in unsanitary conditions, officials said in a U.S. Justice Department release.
Froelich, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud in October 2008, testified at the trial of Dr. Hartley Thomas of Valparaiso, Ind. Thomas, the only defendant who went to trial among the 10 individuals, including four physicians, charged in a 34-count indictment, was convicted but died before sentence was imposed.
Amazing that they were able to get away with bilking that much money for seven years before they got caught. Wonder what kind of sentences/fines the doctors involved got.