Fake doctor charged with health care fraud

A man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta for carrying out a health care fraud scheme, even though he was not licensed in Georgia as a physician, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Matthew Paul Brown, 29, of Nashville, Tenn., allegedly approached a number of doctors in the Atlanta area and persuaded them to bill Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers for allergy-related care. The doctors agreed to pay Brown between 50 percent and 85 percent of the $1.2 million they received in health care benefits, prosecutors said.

“The Medicare and Medicaid systems are designed to provide elderly and needy individuals with necessary medical care by duly trained and licensed medical personnel," U.S. Attorney Sally Yates said in a statement. "This defendant’s alleged impersonation of a doctor defrauded those systems, private health insurance companies, and the patients he treated, who were unaware of his lack of qualifications."

In the coming weeks, Yates said, federal investigators will be contacting the patients Brown allegedly treated in the Atlanta area.

Brown was also charged with illegally disclosing private health care information of individuals under false pretenses and for using the information for commercial advantage and personal gain, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Brown carried out the scheme, in both the Atlanta and Nashville areas, from November 2009 until April 5, prosecutors said.