Chicago Podiatrist and Two Executives Indicted on Health Care Fraud Charges and Their Assets Frozen
ST. LOUIS, MO—A Chicago podiatrist, his wife and the CEO of his health care company were indicted on charges involving the submission of false documents and reimbursement claims related to podiatric services purportedly provided.
According to the indictment, Dr. Yev Gray is the owner and president of Aggeus Healthcare, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, which provides podiatry services to residents of long term care facilities. Dr. Gray’s wife, Natalie Gray, is an attorney and the director of corporate and legal affairs for Aggeus Healthcare, and supervised the billing, finance and accounts receivable departments. James N. Sayadzad is the Chief Executive Officer of Aggeus Healthcare and a minority owner and manager of Aggeus Global. As of September 2015, both companies were operating in at least 16 states. In Missouri, Aggeus contracted with podiatrists to provide services in eleven facilities, with seven of the facilities located in the cities of Bourbon, Hannibal, Maryland Heights and Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
According to the indictment, the defendants used an electronic medical record (EMR) system, which automatically inserted, into patient records, diseases and symptoms that the patients did not have. This was done to demonstrate to Medicare that the patients needed the services for which Aggeus Healthcare later billed Medicare. The defendants also pressured Aggeus podiatrists to provide unneeded services, such as Doppler studies, the incision and drainage of abscesses, and the removal of calluses. Some of the podiatrists complied, provided the unneeded services, and signed the false treatment notes; others refused. Despite repeated complaints from patients, nursing homes, and some of their podiatrists, the defendants continued to create false patient records and to bill for medically unnecessary services. From 2009 to September 2015, Medicare paid Aggeus Healthcare millions of dollars based on the false reimbursement claims submitted by the defendants.
In a separate civil action, Case No. 4:15CV1580-RLW, the Court entered a Temporary Restraining Order against the Defendants that restrains their assets.
Yev Gray, 48; Natalie Gray, 42, and James Sayadzad, 51, all of Chicago, IL, were indicted by a federal grand jury on one felony count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and four felony counts of making false statements relating to health care matters.
If convicted, each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Dorothy McMurtry and Gwen Carroll are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.