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Physician charged with alleged record fraud of federal COVID-19 relief

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Article

Uninsured Program aimed to help doctors slow spread of the disease during pandemic.

justice gavel stethoscope physician: © Jade - stock.adobe.com

© Jade - stock.adobe.com

A physician faces charges for allegedly receiving $150 million in government payments in a program to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Anthony Hao Dinh, DO, 64, was charged late last month in an 18-count indictment. Dinh allegedly defrauded the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) COVID-19 Uninsured Program and DOJ said it was the largest fraud scheme in the nation targeting that program.

The charges add to criminal complaint filed in April, expanding the case by increasing the total amount of fraudulent claims allegedly submitted to HRSA. Dinh faces added charges of money laundering, more allegations of other schemes to defraud pandemic relief programs, and charges of obstructing the government’s investigation, according to DOJ.

The federal investigators described Dinh as a doctor of osteopathic medicine specializing in treatment of the ear, nos and throat, and a facial plastic surgeon.

Dinh allegedly charged HRSA for more than quarter billion dollars in claims, receiving about $150 million in payments for services not covered or not provided, according to DOJ. The time of the charges lasted from July 2020 to March 2021 for the Uninsured Program, which reimbursed physicians and medical providers for caring for uninsured patients.

Two codefendants also face new charges:

  • Hanna “Hang” Trinh Dinh, 65, of Lake Forest, California, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She admitted helping submit fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications seeking more than $260,000 in COVID-19 relief funds. She is the sister of Anthony Hao Dinh, according to DOJ.
  • Matthew Hoang Ho, 66, of Melbourne, Florida, was indicted in May for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering related to PPP and EIDL applications. He is scheduled to go to trial Feb. 6, 2024.

If convicted, Dinh would face up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud and three of the money laundering charges; up to 10 years for two of the money laundering charges; and up to 20 years for the obstruction of justice charge that alleges he submitted false patient records in response to a grand jury subpoena, according to DOJ.

Dinh is free on $7 million bond and is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 30 in Santa Ana, California.

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