Detroit Doctor Found Guilty of 80 Counts of Health Care Fraud

May 23, 2007

A doctor and his biller were convicted Monday on 80 counts of health care fraud and other charges related to an effort to bilk Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan of $775,000, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

A federal jury found Dr. Zack Brown, 61, and Davell Culberson, 68, both of Detroit, guilty of conspiracy on accusations of submitting 19,000 phony insurance claims.

Investigators say that in 1999-2003, the men billed Blue Cross for 21,250 physical therapy services and injections that did not happen. The December 2005 indictment said Brown used recruiters to find Blue Cross subscribers, who were told they could share in up to half of the amount falsely billed in their names, generally between $3,000 and $8,000 per check.

U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani ordered Brown detained as a danger to the community. Brown had previous felony convictions for mail fraud and distributing prescription drugs without a license, The Detroit News reported on its Web site.

Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 6.

The continuing investigation has resulted in the convictions of 12 people and pretrial diversion and restitution agreements with 29 others, U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy said in a statement.

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