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Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Tuesday, Jun. 28, 2016 2 years ago

Doctor charged on 25 counts for $5M scheme

Of the 25 counts, 21 are for health care fraud.

TAMPA — Dr. Anthony Baldizzi, 52 of Tierra Verde, has been indicted for a $5.3 million fraud scheme.

Baldizzi was charged with one count of conspiracy, 21 counts of health care fraud, one count of money laundering, one count of making a false statement and one count of receiving illegal kickbacks, a statement from U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III's office says. The United States is also seeking a $5.3 million money judgment and forfeiture of a 2015 BMW M3, the statement says.

According to the indictment, Baldizzi, a licensed doctor at a Pinellas County urgent care clinic, entered into an agreement with Lifecare Compounding Pharmacy in 2014 to receive kickbacks for each prescription he wrote and directed to Lifecare.

The Lifecare principals later introduced him to the principals of marketing firm Centurion Compounding, and the parties entered another kickback agreement making Baldizzi an “in-network” doctor, the statement says. In this role, he wrote prescriptions for compounded creams marketed by Centurion and filled at Lifecare.

The principals of the two firms paid Baldizzi of kickback of each claim, equivalent to about 10% of the after-cost amount of the payment, the statement says. Baldizzi wrote claims totaling $5.3 million to TRICARE, a federal health care benefit program. Lifecare also submitted more than $71,000 of claims to Medicare for prescriptions Baldizzi wrote, the statement says.

Baldizzi faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for each count of health care fraud and money laundering and five years for each of the remaining charges.

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