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44 Additional Defendants Served and Accused of Defrauding Government and Insurance Companies by Falsifying Patient Records for Cataract Surgeries

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PHOENIX - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today that an additional 44 summonses have been served on current or former employees of the Kokopelli Eye Institute in the case against Dr. Michael Lee Ham, an eye surgeon with Kokopelli who was recently indicted for an alleged fraudulent billing scheme.

Agents with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have been diligently locating and serving indicted defendants. Many defendants are charged with Conspiracy and with Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, while others also face charges of Illegally Conducting an Enterprise, Participating in a Criminal Syndicate and Theft.

It is alleged the additional defendants assisted Dr. Ham in a variety of ways to falsify patients’ medical records for the purpose of inducing government agencies and third-party insurers to pay for cataract and other eye surgeries on patients of Kokopelli Eye Care from 2009 through the Fall of 2018. It is possible some patients had cataract surgeries that were not medically necessary.

Defendant Laura Crain, a long-time employee of Kokopelli Eye Institute, is also charged with Facilitation to Commit Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, and with Criminal Impersonation for her alleged participation in illegally obtaining a prescription-only drug at the direction of Dr. Ham. It is alleged that Crain, in conjunction with Dr. Ham, obtained medication from a pharmacy in Prescott Valley in August and November of 2016 under the name of a person who did not consent to, nor was aware of, a prescription being written in her name.

Dr. Ham was arrested on January 2nd in Prescott Valley. He appeared in court for his arraignment on Monday, January 13, 2019, in Yavapai County Superior Court. He is charged with Conspiracy, Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Illegal Control of an Enterprise, Theft, and Money Laundering violations for allegedly defrauding Medicare, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), as well as several private health insurers. Previous news release.

The indictment follows a multi-agency investigation conducted by the Special Investigations Section of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and AHCCCS. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, also assisted. The investigation and prosecution of this case arose from a report to the Prescott office of the Health Care Fraud & Abuse Section of the Attorney General’s Office.

All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

  1. Dr. Michael Lee Ham
  2. Laura Lynn Crain
  3. Jennifer Lynn Head
  4. Janae Lynne Furr
  5. Elizabeth Nancy Price
  6. Sheradri Ann Compson
  7. Jessica Lynn Erks
  8. Tricia Kay Fagelman
  9. Heidi June Elmer
  10. Christopher Jon Bohn
  11. Samantha Tuesday Denny
  12. Jose Luis Alvarez
  13. Shawnee Andrea Clarida
  14. Taylor Michelle Hahn
  15. Lindsay Brooke Rader
  16. Hollie Rebecca Tomaszycki
  17. Jennafer Eileen Topitzhofer
  18. Bethany Jill Pachel
  19. Nina Marie Kinsey
  20. Jessica Nicole Bicker
  21. Sarah Marie Duncanson
  22. Kelsi Jayne Bentley
  23. Renee L. Azzarello
  24. Bobbie Jo Scarbrough
  25. Amber Dawn Havenner
  26. Miranda Shanee Kendall
  27. Sarah Anne Morgan
  28. Jeffrey Scott Harris
  29. Natasha Florence Klein
  30. Gabriel Monique Anderson
  31. Alexis Sarah Anne Fagg
  32. Katherine Paije Chapman
  33. Katalina Reda
  34. Danielle Renee Pascoe
  35. Brooke C.L. Croy
  36. Daniel Paul Gagnon
  37. Carrissa Faye Wall
  38. Daina Marie Christian
  39. Jordan Alyson Montoya
  40. Carlos Garcia
  41. Monica Chavez Zavala
  42. Donalda Sue Sticka
  43. Ann Marie Nelson
  44. Theresa Velasco Rupp
  45. Lindsay Renee Martell

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