February 14, 2012
A Filipino doctor who defrauded the US government of millions of dollars and fled to the Philippines was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) during the weekend.
The suspect was identified by NBI Officer-In-Charge Nonnatus Caesar R. Rojas as:
ERIC UY CHAN, aka Eric Uy Garchitorena, 48, with last known address is No. 684 T. Mapua St., Manila, and a medical doctor. He is connected with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City as a Medical Corps Reservist with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel under the name Eric Chan Garchitorena.
Chan is wanted to stand trial in the Superior Court of the State of California, county for Felony Complaint No. BA189685 and for Sentencing in the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles, State of California for Information/Case No. YAO36536, both for Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, Grand Theft and Health Care Fraud or Presenting False Medical Claims by collecting/receiving payments from the California Medi-Cal Program amounting to more than US$3 million.
Investigation conducted by the Foreign Liaison Division (FLD) headed by Atty. Claro C. De Castro Jr. disclosed that the case started sometime in 1996, suspect Chan and his co-conspirators Diadema and Chan Annielie Arcangel Ferrer operated Green Cross Medical Clinic located at Carson St., Carson, California although they did not possess any medical license in California and has no group provider number.
In order for Medi-Cal to pay the cost of any service, bills must be submitted through a provider number issued to a licensed physician. Thus, they hired Dr. Hyun Hong Kim, a licensed physician to work with them and without her knowledge applied and received in her name a provider number. They then submitted claims for services that were not actually provided by using Dr. Kim's provider number. A total of US$516,656.48 was paid by Medi-Cal to the bank account of Chan and company. After Dr. Kim discovered the unauthorized billing in her name, she left the medical clinic and notified the authorities to have her provider number deactivated.
In March, 1997, suspects hired Dr. Saifuddin Saifee to work at their new Evergreene Medical Clinic also located at Carson, California using the same modus operandi and were able to obtain Medi-Cal provider number (00A452161) in the name of Dr. Saifee and were able to open a joint bank account in the name of Dr. Saifee and Ferrer. They purchased copies of Medi-Cal beneficiary identification cards, manufacture patient charts to make it appear that service had been provided and submit fraudulent claims to Medi-Cal without Dr. Saifee's knowledge. Medi-Cal records showed that payments totaling US$1,695,252.10 were paid to Dr. Saifee's provider number.
In April, 1998, a Search Warrant was executed at Evergreene Medical Clinic and at Chan's residence. Chan and his co-conspirators were arrested but posted bail afterwards. After being released from custody on bail, Chan continued his illegal activities and opened up again West Coast Intermed Management and hired again a licensed physician named Dr. Herman De Bardlabon and used his name again to obtain Medi-Cal provider number.
Chan and his group persuaded Dr. De Bardlabon to order unnecessary medical diagnostic tests on patient who had been brought to the clinic to submit medical testing and to sign off on fabricated patient charts and the copied test results to make it appear he ordered the tests and analyzed the results. Ferrer, on the other hand, hired several medical assistant and directed them to fabricate patient charts for Medi-Cal beneficiaries who had never been treated.
In December, 1999, a Search Warrant was served at the clinic and the residence of Chan. In January, 2000 a Search warrant was issued again against Chan but he was not apprehended and never appeared in Court while his co-accused Ferrer plead no contest to all the charges and was sentenced to five (5) years to state prison.
Also in January, 2000 Judge Kathleen Kennedy-Powell of the Superior Court of Los Angeles, California issued a Warrant for the arrest of Chan. In February, 2003, Judge Jacqueline A. Connor of the Los Angeles Superior Court, California issued a No Bail Bench warrant against Chan for his failure to appear for sentencing in Felony complaint No. YAO036536. Both warrants remain valid and outstanding.
The United States government requested the Philippines Department of Justice (DOJ) for the extradition of subject. The DOJ filed with RTC of Manila Branch 1 the Petition for Extradition with Case No. 0114185 against suspect Chan. On August 28, 2006 said Court issued a (No Bail) Warrant of Arrest and ordered the NBI-Foreign Liaison Division (FLD) to serve said warrant.
After a series of investigation, he was traced to the Philippines. On February 11, 2012, FLD agents arrested him at the AFP after he attended a Saturday conference at Camp Crame.