Feds charge three Mahoning County doctors in kickback scheme

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The doctor is accused of conspiring with two other doctors to take money in exchange for arranging sexually-transmitted disease tests to be performed

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Federal prosecutors filed a bill of information Friday, accusing a local doctor of being involved in a kickback scheme and indicting two others for their role in the scheme.

Michelle Kapon, 41, is accused of conspiring with two other doctors to take money in exchange for arranging for tests for sexually-transmitted diseases to be performed.

Indicted were Samir Wahib on counts of conspiracy to solicit kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program, offering or paying kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program, obstruction and conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Joni Canby faces similar charges.

The bill of information and the indictments were filed in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio before U.S. Judge Dan Aaron Polster. It said Kapon and Canby sent their specimens to Wahib to be tested and received payments of $15 to $20 per specimen from Wahib.

Wahib allegedly then billed and was paid by the federal government for this testing

The indictments say that Wahib and Canby practice in the Youngstown area and at a Youngstown-area hospital. The indictment did not name the hospital. Kapon practiced in Boardman, according to her bill of information.

The scheme lasted from March 2014 to January 2017, the information said.

The information said Kapon accepted four checks from Wahib, for a total of $5,105 from Oct. 27, 2014 until Jan. 9, 2017.

The indictment said Wahib also paid kickbacks to Canby in exchange for her sending specimens to him to be tested.

The payments also violated federal law because the tests were provided to some patients through Medicare and Medicaid, the information said.

A bill of information is typically filed in lieu of an indictment when a defendant is cooperating with authorities and agrees to plead guilty.

The case has been assigned for arraignment purposes to U.S. Magistrate Judge David Ruiz, but an arraignment has not been scheduled yet for any of the three defendants.

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