GENERIC: doctor, medical

A Bay City doctor has been charged in connection with a $60 million health care fraud scheme.

Dr. Vasso Godiali, a 56-year-old vascular surgeon, was charged with orchestrating the scheme in an indictment unsealed on Tuesday, July 10.

Godiali was also charged with money laundering for financial transactions involving about $49 million in proceeds he derived from the scheme, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Godiali submitted false and fraudulent claims for the placement of stents in dialysis patients and for the treatment of arterial blood clots, the attorney’s office said in press release citing the indictment.

The indictment also alleged Godiali exploited medical billing software to improperly maximize payments from insurance agencies.

It also alleges Godiali submitted false and fraudulent claims to those insurance agencies for services not rendered.

The indictment also alleges Godiali used proceeds from his scheme to pay property takes on a Houghton Lake residence.

"This is a large, significant and important prosecution. Health care fraud schemes, such as the one alleged to have been committed by Dr. Godiali, divert millions of dollars from public programs intended to help those in need for the sole purpose of lining the pockets of greedy doctors,” stated United States Attorney Matthew Schneider. “I salute Attorney General Dana Nessel and her staff, along with the entire law enforcement team that labored so tirelessly on this case. The work that culminated in to today’s indictment demonstrates cooperation and teamwork at its best.”

Schneider’s office also filed a related civil lawsuit seeking the forfeiture of about $39.9 million seized from accounts controlled by Godiali.

If convicted of a health care fraud charge, Godiali faces a maximum sentence of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count.

If convicted of money laundering, Godiali faces a maximum sentence of 20 years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of twice the amount laundered.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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