McLean, Virginia Dermatologist Amir Bajoghli, 44, has been accused of intentionally misdiagnosing patients with skin cancer and performing unnecessary surgeries. A complex health-care fraud scheme.
Bajoghi, owner of the Skin & Laser Surgery Center, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Alexandria on Tuesday. He was indicted on 60 counts of fraud, aggravated identity theft and other charges.
His offices had multiple locations. The Skin & Laser Surgery Centers operated in Stafford, Vienna, Woodbridge and the District of Columbia. The indictment indicated that, between 2009 and 2012, Bajoghli performed procedures on patients’ who had benign skin tissue and submitted claims to health-care benefit programs on the basis of fraudulent skin-cancer diagnosis codes. According to the indictment, Bajoghli billed health-care benefit programs for surgeries he did not perform.
Washingtonian Magazine had named Bajoghli one of the region’s top dermatologists as part of its annual “Best Of” issues.
Prosecutors have alleged that Bajoghli had his unlicensed and unqualified medical assistants perform wound closures, sutures and skin grafts without supervision. Additionally, Bajoghli also has allegedly billed for procedures performed by his nurse practitioner or assistant when he was not at the office. According to the indictment, his billing made it appear as though he was seeing patients at three locations at once.
During the investigation, prosecutors said, Bajoghli ordered his staff to tell select patients that he had performed their wound closures even if he hadn’t. The indictment has also charged him with obstruction of justice.
Prosecutors have also alleged that Bajoghli directed his employees to improperly dispose of medical waste at his practices.
If convicted, Bajoghli could face a maximum of 10 years in prison on each health-care-fraud count, a maximum of 20 years for the obstruction-of-justice count, and a mandatory two years for each identity-theft count.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, HHS’s Office of the Inspector General, DCIS and OPM’s Office of the Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Nathanson is prosecuting the case.
Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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