Partner Randall Fox’s Whistleblower Case under the False Claims Act Results in Indictment of Long Island Doctor
New York Attorney General Letitia James is pursuing criminal charges that were first brought to light by a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by Kirby McInerney partner Randall Fox on behalf of a whistleblower client against a Queens, New York radiologist and his company.
In a press release on Monday, Attorney General James announced that Long Island doctor Payam Toobian, 51, and his company America’s Imaging Center Inc., were indicted on claims of defrauding Medicaid by billing for invasive and unnecessary tests that were not ordered by the patients’ physicians, and by billing for services that resulted from illegal kickbacks that they paid to secure patient referrals. Toobian and his company operated in Forest Hills, Queens.
Toobian and his company are facing 13 felony counts, including Grand Larceny, Falsifying Business Records, and violating the anti-kickback provisions of New York’s Social Services Law.
Attorney General James has also intervened in the False Claims Act civil case that Kirby McInerney filed. In that case, the Attorney General is seeking to recover the Medicaid monies at issue in the alleged schemes.
According to Monday’s indictment, Toobian and his company allegedly paid illegal kickbacks to three physicians with over $547,000 worth of gift cards, cash, and checks in exchange for patient referrals between 2006 and August 2017, and that they illegally billed the New York Medicaid program over $1 million for services to those patients. It also alleged that between January 2014 to August 2017, Toobian and his company billed Medicaid for tests that had not been ordered by prescribing physicians and that often involved unnecessary and invasive tests despite the lack of consent or approval of the referring physicians. These tests included MRIs of the brain, lumbar spine, and cervical spine that often involved subjecting patients to invasive injections.
Mr. Fox was named the Whistleblower Lawyer of the Year for 2021 by Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund, the leading public advocacy group for whistleblowers. He previously worked for the Attorney General’s Office as the Bureau Chief of the Taxpayer Protection Bureau and Special Assistant Attorney General for the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, where he handled and supervised several ground-breaking False Claims Act cases.