In a shocking turn of events, an Orange County doctor has been charged with stealing a whopping $150 million from the Federal COVID Program. This program was specifically designed to provide services to uninsured patients during the pandemic. Doctor Anthony Hao Dinh, 64, from Newport Coast, allegedly stole the funds by submitting false claims for reimbursement under the Government’s COVID Uninsured Program.
Between July 2020 and March 2021, Dinh submitted fraudulent claims for treating his insured patients, services that were never actually rendered, and even services that were deemed “not medically necessary.” Talk about taking advantage of a crisis! According to court documents, these false claims led to approximately $150 million being paid out to Dinh through his medical practices. This is a staggering amount of money that could have been used to help those truly in need.
It’s truly disappointing to see a healthcare professional, who should be dedicated to helping others, exploit a program meant to assist uninsured patients. This is undoubtedly the largest fraud scheme in the nation targeting the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program uncovered at this time. It’s a sad reflection on the state of our healthcare system when even doctors are willing to engage in such flagrant acts of fraud.
But it doesn’t end there. Dinh is also accused of filing 65 fraudulent loan applications totaling almost $8 million. It seems like he just couldn’t resist grabbing every opportunity to line his own pockets. The charges against Dinh include money laundering, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice in relation to the COVID program.
Thankfully, the authorities have taken swift action in this case. Dinh has been released on a $7 million bond, but he will face an arraignment hearing at the end of October. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison. Justice must be served, and it is our hope that this case serves as a deterrent for others who may be tempted to exploit similar programs in the future.
It’s disheartening to see how prevalent COVID-19 fraud has become within the medical industry and government during this pandemic. Just last year, IRS employees were charged with stealing COVID relief funds to finance their lavish lifestyles. It seems that some individuals will stop at nothing to take advantage of a crisis for their own personal gain.
This case highlights the need for stricter oversight and accountability when it comes to disbursing taxpayer funds. The fact that so many fraudulent applications were approved and millions of dollars were given to fraudsters is deeply concerning. Republican Senators Rand Paul and Joni Ernst have rightly launched an investigation into over $5.4 billion of pandemic loan fraud. We must hold those responsible for these fraudulent acts accountable and ensure that the funds intended for those in need actually reach their intended recipients.
In conclusion, we must condemn the actions of individuals like Doctor Anthony Hao Dinh, who have shamelessly stolen millions of dollars meant to help uninsured patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a reminder that even in times of crisis, there are those who will prioritize their own greed above the well-being of others. Let this case serve as a warning to anyone else tempted to exploit similar programs. The American people deserve better.