A Florida surgeon, Dr Moses deGraft-Johnson has been charged by US prosecutors to the tune of $26million in healthcare fraud, after they found out he allegedly defrauded government and insurers with fake surgeries so as to fund his political ambition in his native Ghana.
A federal grand jury early this month unsealed a 58-count indictment alleging that Dr Moses falsely billed insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid, for work he did not perform.
According to the Federal Department of Health and Human Services investigations, deGraft-Johnson claimed to have performed over a five-year period more than 3,600 atherectomies and angioplasties, surgeries that were never performed.
'He used his access to the hospital's daily census to poach patients for his scheme to defraud, instructing his staff to cold call patients from the hospital so that he could use their presence to fraudulently bill health care programs,' prosecutors said in court documents.
Prosecutors asked the judge to keep the doctor in custody as his long term goal was to be the president of Ghana suggesting he was a flight risk.
US Magistrate Judge Charles A Stampelos agreed and ordered deGraft-Johnson held until trial, set for March 23.
Johnson's assets were freezed after Investigators said they looked into the doctor's bank accounts and discovered at least $1.8million in international wire transfers to entities and associates in Ghana plus the fact that he has a relative who was the vice president of Ghana in the 80s.
'He's a wonderful doctor, and I will defend him vigorously,' said William Bubsey, the attorney who represented deGraft-Johnson during Friday's detention hearings, even though he isn't sure he will represent Johnson when the main trial starts.
Bubsey also said the allegations against Johnson were false as the money he sent home was used to help poor people in Ghana and not for any political ambition.