Xingjia Cui, NY Psychiatrist, charged with health care fraud, tax fraud and money laundering

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Democrat and Chronicle
Canandaigua VA psychiatrist charged with fraud
By Will Cleveland
March 9, 2017

Psychiatrist Xingjia Cui

A psychiatrist at the Canandaigua Veterans Affairs Medical Center is charged with health care fraud, money laundering, and tax fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Dr. Xingjia Cui, 52, of Pittsford is employed full time at the medical center and also maintains a private practice in Canandaigua, prosecutors said. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

The investigation began when the FBI was advised by the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office “of a suspicious jailhouse telephone conversation regarding Dr. Cui and his drug prescribing habit,” a release said. During the call, an inmate said Qui prescribed controlled substances to area drug users without medical examinations.

Prosecutors said billing records from multiple private health insurance companies stated Cui was spending 10 to 17 hours per weekend day providing individual therapy sessions through his private medical practice. According to the criminal complaint, video surveillance showed many people visited Cui’s private practice on evenings and weekends, but a “vast majority stayed very briefly” and patients didn’t stay long enough to support the billing claims.

An FBI agent posed as a patient five times. The undercover agent paid cash at each visit. The first visit cost $300 and the subsequent visits were $100 each. The first visit lasted 23 minutes. Prosecutors said Cui did not conduct a physical examination or request a urine toxicology during the initial appointment. The other four visits lasted between five and nine minutes, according to the criminal complaint.

Investigators obtained records for 30 of Cui’s patients and determined he allegedly improperly billed the health care providers for services he didn’t provide. “The investigation determined 61 percent of Dr. Cui’s claims reimbursed by Excellus were fraudulent, totaling $198,820.38,” according to a release. Cui allegedly deposited the proceeds into multiple personal bank accounts and then transferred some of the money into a TD Ameritrade account.

One Chase Bank employee said Cui “deposited exactly $10,000” on one occasion, possibly as an attempt to avoid currency reporting requirements, prosecutors said. According to the employee, Cui would often come in with large amounts of cash, mostly in $20 bills.

Prosecutors said Cui “knowingly and willfully prepared, signed, and submitted false tax forms” between 2010 and 2014 and Cui “failed to report at least $381,447” income from his medical practice.

Cui was released after an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman Friday. He is scheduled to return to court at 9:30 a.m. on May 24.

Xingjia Cui