Jacksonville Clinic Owner Arrested on Billing Fraud Charges

March 13, 2003

A Jacksonville man surrendered to fraud investigators with Florida’s Department of Financial Services on a charge that he collected more than $100,000 in insurance payments for MRI scans that he couldn’t have performed, given he was operating from a rental mailbox location.

Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services and the department’s Division of Insurance Fraud, announced that Leon Todd McClerren, operator of Simpson Diagnostics, has been charged with schemes to defraud, a first-degree felony. If convicted, McClerren could face up to 30 years in prison.

McClerren reportedly established a corporation in the name of Simpson Diagnostics and then used a rental mailbox address for his corporation’s billings, investigators said. Several medical providers referred patients to Simpson Diagnostics for MRI scans, but Simpson Diagnostics directed the patients to Damadian MRI/First Coast for the service at a prearranged price of $450 per MRI scan.

Once the documentation for claims filing was received from Damadian MRI/First Coast, investigators said, claims were reportedly submitted to insurance carriers as though the MRIs were performed by Simpson Diagnostics. The insurance companies were charged $1,250 per MRI.

The investigation of Simpson Diagnostics began in October 2000 when State Farm Insurance Company reported to the Division of Insurance Fraud that they were suspicious of the address on a claim from Simpson Diagnostics, because the address was that of a rental mailbox operation. Based on that information, division investigators determined that Simpson Diagnostics had reportedly billed numerous insurance companies for MRI scans.

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