Michigan surgeon charged in $60M fraud and money laundering scheme

Medical justice
A Michigan surgeon was indicted and charged with healthcare fraud. (Getty/yavdat)

A Michigan surgeon has been charged with orchestrating a $60 million healthcare fraud scheme as well as money laundering.

An indictment was unsealed Wednesday charging Vasso Godiali, M.D., 56, a vascular surgeon from Bay City, with fraud and laundering more than $49 million in proceeds from the scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. The government is seeking forfeiture of approximately $39.9 million seized from Godiali.

According to the indictment, Godiali submitted false and fraudulent claims for placing stents in dialysis patients and for the treatment of arterial blood clots. It also alleges that the surgeon exploited medical billing software to improperly maximize payments from Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Godiali allegedly submitted false and fraudulent insurance claims for services he did not provide and improperly “unbundled” claims, saying he was performing many separate and distinct procedures when he was entitled to a single reimbursement for a single procedure.

The indictment also alleges he used six corporations to launder millions, which he used to fund investment accounts, and that he used proceeds to pay property taxes on a residence.

"This is a large, significant and important prosecution,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider.

RELATED: 4 in Michigan charged in $9M Medicare fraud scheme 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a related civil lawsuit seeking the forfeiture of approximately $39.9 million seized from accounts controlled by Godiali or related to four separate real estate transactions. 

If convicted on the fraud charge, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and faces a maximum of 20 years if convicted of money laundering.