Caldwell optometrist indicted on a scheme to defraud health care benefit programs
Christopher Card, 59, of Caldwell, Idaho, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Boise for execution of a scheme to defraud health care benefit programs, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Card is a licensed optometrist in the state of Idaho.
The indictment alleges that from as early as September 1993, through August 31, 2010, the defendant executed a scheme to defraud health care benefit programs, including Idaho Medicaid, Medicare, Blue Cross of Idaho, Regence BlueShield of Idaho, and the Rail Road Retirement Board (RRB), of more than $1 million in health care benefit program reimbursements, by making material false statements, and by submitting material false, fraudulent, and fictitious claims for reimbursement to these health care benefit programs.
The indictment also alleges that in late 2008, Card learned about the federal investigation from an employee interviewed by investigators. At that time, he stopped billing for virtually all services and testing related to glaucoma and other specific diagnoses and he significantly increased billing for services and testing related to tension headache, pain in and around the eye, optic atrophy, punctate keratitis, and nonexudative macular degeneration.
The charge of execution of a scheme to defraud a health care benefit program is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.