Jessica Mathews /

A Livingston County doctor is among 23 individuals charged in $61.5 (m) million fraud schemes.

Federal court documents were unsealed this week charging 23 Michigan residents for their alleged involvement in two illegal schemes to defraud Medicare of more than $61.5 (m) million by paying kickbacks and bribes and billing Medicare for unnecessary medical services that were never provided.

A press releases states that 82-year-old Cornelius Oprisiu of Livingston County, 79-year-old Alejandro Mataverde of Oakland County, both physicians, and 59-year-old Shafiq Rehman of Wayne County, a licensed nurse practitioner, were all employed by Infinity Visiting Physicians in Dearborn. They allegedly provided medically unnecessary services to Medicare beneficiaries or submitted claims to Medicare for medical services that were not provided to the patients.

The alleged actions of the defendants involved were described as “an astonishing abuse of the health care system”.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said “As alleged, the defendants and their co-conspirators repeatedly paid illegal bribes and kickbacks so they could submit claims for medically unnecessary home health services throughout the Detroit metropolitan area, exposing patients to needless physician services and drug testing and costing Medicare tens of millions of dollars”.

Oprisiu is charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and health care fraud – both 10-year felonies.