Va. woman convicted of $83M Medicare, insurance fraud

WASHINGTON — A Loudoun County, Virginia, woman who ran a sleep study clinic has been convicted on charges of running a health care fraud that siphoned $83 million from Medicare and private insurers.

Young Yi, 44, of Sterling, who formed the 1st Class Sleep Diagnostic Center and 1st Class Medical, was convicted Monday of one count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud, seven counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of filing a false tax return, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a statement. She’ll be sentenced Nov. 2.

The prosecutors said in the statement that patients who were referred by their doctors to 1st Class for sleep studies were solicited “supplemental but medically unnecessary studies” as well.

Yi covered the center’s tracks by telling her workers not to send results of those tests to doctors, by telling patients there was no co-payment or coinsurance, and by cross-billing patients from each of the two 1st Class entities.

She also encouraged her own workers to get unnecessary sleep studies, the prosecutors said — as an example, three employees got 27 sleep studies done among them in less than three years, even though none of them had sleep apnea, and teams of workers held “races” to see who could refer the most friends and relatives for fraudulent studies.

Yi also used the money from the centers to buy mink coats, luxury vehicles and real estate, including a $1.1 million house in Sterling and a condominium in McLean, as well as properties in Chicago and Honolulu, all booked as business expenses, the statement said.

She also formed “a purported charity” to funnel money into in order to hide it from law enforcement.

“When someone commits health care and tax fraud, it drives up the cost of care for everyone and creates an unlevel playing field,” said U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger in the statement. “Yi misled patients and their doctors, falsified records to cover it up, and deducted millions in taxes she used to buy expensive properties and luxury goods.”

Yi’s co-defendant, Dannie Ahn, pleaded guilty in December 2017 and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 14.

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Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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