More Accused Of Billing Fraud Scheme At Prescott Valley Eye Care Center

Michael Lee Ham
Michael Lee Ham

Attorney General Mark Brnovich says an additional 44 people have been served on current or former employees of the Kokopelli Eye Institute in the case against Dr. Michael Lee Ham, an eye surgeon with Kokopelli who was recently indicted for an alleged fraudulent billing scheme.

According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, many defendants are charged with Conspiracy and with Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, while others also face charges of Illegally Conducting an Enterprise, Participating in a Criminal Syndicate and Theft.

Allegedly the additional defendants assisted Ham in a variety of ways to falsify patients’ medical records for the purpose of inducing government agencies and third-party insurers to pay for cataract and other eye surgeries on patients of Kokopelli Eye Care from 2009 through the Fall of 2018. It is possible some patients had cataract surgeries that were not medically necessary.

Kokopelli Eye Institute’s public relations team released the following statement on Friday: “Dr. Michael Ham is a longstanding and trusted caregiver in the community for more than 20 years. At Kokopelli Eye Institute, patients are our number one priority. We remain open and our medical staff, including Dr. Ham, continues to provide quality care for our patients. We will vigorously oppose these charges and we believe we will ultimately be vindicated.”

Jennifer Lynn Head
Janae Lynne Furr
Elizabeth Nancy Price
Sheradri Ann Compson
Jessica Lynn Erks
Tricia Kay Fagelman
Heidi June Elmer
Christopher Jon Bohn
Samantha Tuesday Denny
Jose Luis Alvarez
Shawnee Andrea Clarida
Taylor Michelle Hahn
Lindsay Brooke Rader
Hollie Rebecca Tomaszycki
Jennafer Eileen Topitzhofer
Bethany Jill Pachel
Nina Marie Kinsey
Jessica Nicole Bicker
Sarah Marie Duncanson
Kelsi Jayne Bentley
Renee L. Azzarello
Bobbie Jo Scarbrough
Amber Dawn Havenner
Miranda Shanee Kendall
Sarah Anne Morgan
Jeffrey Scott Harris
Natasha Florence Klein
Gabriel Monique Anderson
Alexis Sarah Anne Fagg
Katherine Paije Chapman
Katalina Reda
Danielle Renee Pascoe
Brooke C.L. Croy
Daniel Paul Gagnon
Carrissa Faye Wall
Daina Marie Christian
Jordan Alyson Montoya
Carlos Garcia
Monica Chavez Zavala
Donalda Sue Sticka
Ann Marie Nelson
Theresa Velasco Rupp
Lindsay Renee Martell

Defendant Laura Crain, a long-time employee of Kokopelli Eye Institute, is also charged with Facilitation to Commit Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, and with Criminal Impersonation for her alleged participation in illegally obtaining a prescription-only drug at the direction of Dr. Ham. It is alleged that Crain, in conjunction with Dr. Ham, obtained medication from a pharmacy in Prescott Valley in August and November of 2016 under the name of a person who did not consent to, nor was aware of, a prescription being written in her name.

Dr. Ham was arrested on January 2nd in Prescott Valley. He appeared in court for his arraignment on Monday, January 13, 2019, in Yavapai County Superior Court. He is charged with Conspiracy, Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Illegal Control of an Enterprise, Theft, and Money Laundering violations for allegedly defrauding Medicare, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), as well as several private health insurers.

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