VA psychiatrist charged with fraud and money laundering

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Dr. Xingjia Cui, 52, of Pittsford, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with health care fraud, money laundering and tax fraud.

An Assistant U.S. Attorney says that, according to the complaint, Cui is a full-time employee of the Canandaigua Veterans Administration Medical Center. Cui also maintains a private practice in Canandaigua.

An investigation began when the FBI was advised by the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office of a suspicious jailhouse telephone conversation. The conversation was about Dr. Cui and his drug prescribing habit. According to the complaint, an inmate stated during the call that Cui prescribed controlled substances to area drug users without medical examinations.

An analysis of billing records from multiple private health insurance companies showed that Dr. Cui claimed to be spending from 10 to 17 hours per weekend day providing individual therapy sessions through his private medical practice. However, video surveillance on multiple days over several months, showed multiple people visiting the defendant’s private practice on evenings and weekends but a vast majority stayed very briefly, and not long enough for Dr. Cui to provide basic medical services which is needed to support the matters being billed.

Subsequently, an undercover FBI agent posed as a patient on five occasions with Dr. Cui. The undercover agent paid cash at each visit, with the first visit costing $300 and the following visits costing $100. The first visit lasted approximately 23 minutes with the defendant asking the undercover agent several questions including family history and drug use but at no point did Dr. Cui conduct a physical examination or request a urine toxicology. The other four visits lasted between five and nine minutes.

Investigators obtained the records of 30 of the doctors patients with health insurance, during which a review determined that, in the majority of instances, the defendant improperly billed the health care benefit programs for services that he did not provide.

The investigation determined that approximately 61% of Dr. Cui’s claims reimbursed by Excellus were fraudulent, totaling approximately $198,820.38. 

From approximately May 6, 2011, to March 30, 2015, Dr. Cui knowingly and willfully prepared, signed, and submitted false forms for the tax years 2010 to 2014. Cui failed to report at least $381,447 of known income from his medical practice.

Dr. Cui made an initial appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman and was released. Dr. Cui is due back in court on May 24, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

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