On October 15, 2015, the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) announced the arrest of Eric Wiegandt, 41, on multiple felony fraud charges for conducting a $1.5 million insurance fraud scheme, according to a press release from DIF. DIF led a joint state and federal investigation, which revealed that Wiegandt allegedly coordinated a scheme that fraudulently billed Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) for services that were never rendered at his clinic, the Broward Spine and Rehab Center, located in Hollywood, Florida.
According to investigators, Eric Wiegandt fraudulently signed and submitted nearly $1.5 million worth of fictitious and falsely represented insurance claims between 2013 and early 2015. As a result, Wiegandt received commission payments from BCBS in excess of $230,000.
Wiegandt was evicted in 2014 from his Coral Gables practice location because of alleged mismanagement, and lost his license for failure to complete continuing education requirements. Despite not having a license, Wieghandt opened a new clinic located in Hollywood, Florida. The Hollywood Police Department became aware of Wiegandt’s unlicensed practice and arrested him for continuing to conduct an insurance-related business without an active license. Soon after, the Hollywood Police Department brought in DIF to review the insurance transactions related to the clinic’s day to day operations. As part of its investigation, DIF found that BCBS flagged Wiegandt due to the high volume of insurance claims and patient visits. The investigation also revealed that patients who previously visited the Coral Gables location were allegedly receiving duplicative treatments at the Hollywood location.
Wiegandt was arrested on eight counts of healthcare fraud and the case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Florida.
Click here for press release.