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[MM Curator Summary]: One doc paid 2 other docs to send samples for bogus gonorrhea and chlamydia tests.
A Valley doctor has been sentenced for her role in a Medicare and Medicaid kickback scheme.
Dr. Michelle Kapon of Youngstown was sentenced to two-years probation and ordered to pay a $75,000 fine.
According to court documents, Kapon and OBGYN Joni Canby received kickbacks from OBGYN Samir Wahib after sending samples from their patients to him for gonorrhea and chlamydia testing.
Investigators said Wahib would pay Canby $20 and Kapon $15 for every specimen sent his way. Wahib would then allegedly submit claims to the federal government for payment for the tests.
The government claimed the payments were disguised as “physician coverage” on checks from his business.
Between 2014 and 2017, Wahib paid $31,520 to Kapon and Canby over a three-year period.
After pleading guilty, Dr. Kapon cited the influence of the other doctors as a reason for a lenient sentence.
A memorandum filed in U.S. District Court through Kapon’s attorney referred to her relationships with the other two doctors, claiming that Dr. Canby was Kapon’s mentor and became increasingly influential in her life.
“In short, Dr. Canby had become embedded into Dr. Kapon’s life. Dr. Kapon completely trusted Dr. Canby’s judgment. This proved to be misplaced,” attorney Ronald Yarwood wrote.
Yarwood’s memo also claimed that as OB-GYN Department Chair for Northside Hospital, Dr. Wahib had the power to mandate certain requirements on Dr. Kapon, including that she must always have a board-certified OB-GYN available during delivery, and she must always have a call coverage for any patients when she is not available.
The memorandum asked the judge to fine Kapon, sentence her to probation, and order her to pay $37,730 in restitution.