On Thursday, April 26th, the Marin County Independent Journal reported that the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office had filed criminal and fraud charges against the CEO and Medical Director for a company known as Implantium. The charges in question stem from the DA's charge that Implantium has been over billing Santa Clara County and the taxpayers of San Jose for the cost of spinal implants for government employees, allowing the company and its officers to profit tens of thousands of dollars while public agencies were forced to compensate by "jacking up" workers' comp premiums.
The parties in question are Trudy Maurer, CEO, and Tigran Shahsuvarya, the company's Medical Director. Mauer is to be arraigned on May 1, 2012, while Shahsuvarya is to be arraigned on April 30th at the Santa Clara Superior Court. If convicted, both could face up to 13 years in prison and a monetary penalty of $50,000 per count.
So who is Implantium? Besides being the company whose tag line is, "Helping Hospitals Cut Cost for Spinal Implants," based on their website www.implantium.homestead.com, Implantium acts as a third party billing intermediary that enters into arrangements with hospitals to defer the cost for using spinal implants on workers' compensation patients. As a third party billing company, Implantium assumes the carrying cost for these implants since the average reimbursement time in the State of Ca-li-for-nia is 170 days. What the State Workers' Compensation Board and the Federal Government are learning is that these shell companies or pyramids involve lawyers, surgeons and various frontmen and or women that have mastered the art of usury when it comes to medical devices and workers' comp claims.
If Implantium is acting as a third party billing company without actually handling the product there must be some financial incentive to use products from Implantium, and or the 45 various companies that Implantium supposedly works with, besides deferring the carrying cost. Could it be that someone higher up in the food chain is being compensated? Who are the lawyers, investment bankers, and surgeons involved with Implantium? Legally, Implantium must be working with a lawyer or lawyers and surgeons, who are funneling the patients or advising Implantium on how to run this alleged operation. Many of our readers know this scam, since TSB is sure that there are many whom have been approached about acting as an intermediary to carry the cost of the product for months. Maybe its time that the Prosecutor in this case start serving some subpoena's to the hospitals and surgeons involved.
By California law, Implantium is allowed to profit up to $250 per device, but Trudy Maurer is accused of altering invoices for as much as tens of thousands of dollars. This story sounds familiar with what was recently reported in the Wall Street Journal regarding the shenanigans that have been taking place in the local Long Beach, California area. The invoices in question go as far back as 2008. God help Trudy and Tigran if they are found guilty, TSB would hate to think how many patients were involved. If not for a San Jose City Attorney who was performing an audit and took notice of the claims the alleged gravy train could have just kept going on. So TSB must ask the question, will the California State Board of Workers' Compensation and its Governor Jerry Brown take notice of some of the nefarious dealings going on in the Golden State or, will it be business as usual?
This is a golden opportunity for the State of California to evaluate many so-called business models that have surface, all for the love of the Almighty Dollar. But how many of these scams exist on a national level? How many of you have been approached by someone asking you to front such an operation? How many of you have lost money as a distributor getting involved in these deals? Maybe the Prosecutor should squeeze all the parties involved in this case so they sing like canaries. They just may find out how deeply rooted this scam really goes. TSB wants to know what our readers think? Do we start in the East Bay?
"I left my heart in San Francisco, High on the Hill it calls to me
To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
The morning fog may chill the air, I don't care
Who knows if convicted, Implantium can work on a new tag line for their website.
Kudos goes out to our source in the Bay Area.