Allergy test uncovers large scale insurance fraud

Patients say the never got treatments
Posted at 7:20 PM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 19:21:27-04

The FBI raided an Atlanta medical clinic last month in search of evidence that affects hundreds of people in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

Clearwater resident Nikki Taft suspects she and her sons may have been used in an insurance fraud operation.

The Tafts had no idea their insurer United Health Care paid out thousands of dollars for treatments and injections they never received. They found more than $7,000 in bogus claims had been paid by their insurance.

A list obtained by the FBI contains the names and insurance information  of more than 1,600 people around the country including more than 300 in Tampa Bay.

Robert Cancelli discovered his carrier also paid out more than $3,200 dollars for phantom injections.

The participants we spoke with say  they thought they were taking part in an allergy study. Each of them came to a conference room at the Oldsmar Hampton Inn where they gave blood and their personal information.

The Atlanta company under investigation Primera Medical Group used test marketing and survey companies to recruit participants. They say C and C marketing in Clearwater which is not under investigation paid them $75 each to take part in the test.

Cancelli and others did not recognize doctors’ names on the paperwork submitted to their insurance.

Taft was among those who received allergy test results. The person listed as the physician is Shu Kothari. But Kothari is not a physician, he's an Atlanta chiropractor with a forgery conviction. He's also listed as the CEO of Primera Medical.

Kothari's business attorney confirms they've hired a criminal council. As for the FBI they've yet to file charges.