Kickbacks Convinced Doc To Scam Medicare Out Of Nearly $21 Million: NJ Feds

A doctor pocketed cash kickbacks from lab companies and others for filing more than $20.7 million in bogus Medicare claims for medically unnecessary -- and often expensive -- COVID and cancer genetic tests, among other scams, a federal grand jury in Newark has charged.

Alexander Baldonado

Alexander Baldonado

Photo Credit: DodgertonSkillhause@ / Dr. Alexander Baldonado: LinkedIn (inset)

Alexander Baldonado, 68, of Queens already was awaiting trial dating back to charges brought a few years ago when grand jurors in Newark this week returned a superseding indictment that digs deeper into the allegations.

Baldonado approved lab tests billed to Medicare in exchange for cash payoffs "from a laboratory representative and others," the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement on Thursday, Feb. 22.

One of the laboratories was located in Secaucus, according to the indictment.

"As part of the scheme, Baldonado also allegedly participated in COVID-19 testing events at which he authorized COVID-19 tests as well as expensive and medically unnecessary cancer genetic tests that patients did not request, that were not used in the patient’s treatment, and for which the patients rarely received the results," the Justice Department said.

He also billed Medicare "for lengthy office visits that he never provided to these patients" and took payoffs from the owner of a durable medical equipment supply company in Hazlet, NJ, in exchange for ordering medically unnecessary orthotic braces, the agency alleges.

Baldonado is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, six counts of health care fraud, two counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay and receive health care kickbacks, and one count of soliciting health care kickbacks.

Assistant Chief Rebecca Yuan and Trial Attorney Hyungjoo Han of the Justice Department's Criminal Division Fraud Section secured the indictment amid an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the FBI. 

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