Bay City vascular surgeon accused of running $60 million fraud scheme

Health care fraud graphic by MGN.
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BAY CITY (WJRT) (7/10/2019) - A vascular surgeon from Bay City is facing charges of orchestrating a $60 million health care fraud scheme.

Dr. Vasso Godiali, 56, is accused in U.S. District Court of money laundering nearly $49 million from the scheme.

An indictment accuses Godiali of submitting false and fraudulent claims for placing stents in dialysis patients to treat blood clots. In the process, he is accused of exploiting medical billing software to maximize insurance payouts.

The alleged scheme involved billing for several individual procedures when he was only performing one. Prosecutors allege Godiali also billed Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross for services he did not render.

He allegedly used six corporations to launder the nearly $49 million in proceeds from the scheme, which he placed in investment accounts and used to pay property taxes on a residence in Houghton Lake.

"This is a large, significant and important prosecution," said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider. "Health care fraud schemes, such as the one alleged to have been committed by Dr. Godiali, divert millions of dollars from public programs intended to help those in need for the sole purpose of lining the pockets of greedy doctors.”

The Michigan Attorney General's Office launched the investigation and requested help from the U.S. Attorney's Office when they discovered the scale of the alleged fraud.

Schneider's office filed a companion civil lawsuit against Godiali seeking nearly $40 million from his accounts and real estate holdings. Godiali also faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of nearly $200 million.