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Medical group leaders facing federal charges for fake allergy tests

Posted at 6:23 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 18:23:32-05

Leaders of an Atlanta-based medical company that targeted Tampa Bay area residents with fake allergy tests are now facing federal charges.

The FBI raided Primera Medical Group’s Atlanta offices in February – after allegations that the company targeted hundreds of Tampa Bay residents with fake allergy tests used to steal their personal information and illegally bill their health insurance millions of dollars.

Now federal prosecutors have charged CEO Shue Kathari and another top executive with health care fraud.

Nikki Taft and her two sons, who live in Pinellas County, thought they were getting free allergy tests after getting a call from a local survey company.

Taft and her children gave blood and all their personal information during the tests. Later she discovered her medical insurance paid Primera more than $7,000 for injections and treatments she said they never received. 

“It is very disturbing,” Taft told Consumer Reporter Jackie Callaway. “Who knows what else they could do with that information?” 

ABC Action News learned as many as 300 Hillsborough and Pinellas residents fell for the same pitch.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Kathari and his co-defendant allegedly submitted more than 4,500 fraudulent allergy treatment claims totaling more than $8 million.

ABC Action News reached out to Kathari’s attorney for comment but are still waiting to hear back.