Allergy Testing Fraud Scheme Ringleader Sentenced
John Froelich, 52, was a registered nurse who has been convicted in an allergy testing health care fraud scheme. As the ringleader among nine defendants, he was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall in Federal Court in Chicago to nine years in prison and ordered to pay $2.6 million in restitution.
Froelich plead guilty to federal charges for submitting fraudulent bills totaling $11.5 million to more than 200 insurance companies. The insurance companies paid approximately $2.6 million in false claims.
Froelich was licensed as a nurse in Illinois. He was not licensed in Indiana or Arizona. He deceived patients by wearing an employee identification badge that he had retained after he stopped working as a nurse at a large Chicago hospital.
Froelich and his co-defendants operated a group of businesses in the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and Phoenix, Arizona. The principle business name was American Institute of Allergy (AIA). They operated by advertising free blood tests and drew blood on approximately 4,000 patients. Then without proper medical evaluation or supervision, AIA administered allergy shots to 800 of those same patients.
The allergy shots were prepared in unsanitary conditions. Individuals who were not licensed or qualified did the preparation of the shots. Even though no patients are known to have suffered direct serious injury, they were all exposed to risk of such.
The fraud scheme involved three physicians who never saw the patients. The fraudulent insurance claims were submitted under the physicians’ names for services they had not provided or supervised.
FDA News Release