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Psychiatrist sentenced to 18 months in false billing scheme to Medicaid


A Baltimore Circuit Court judge ordered yesterday a 68-year-old psychiatrist to serve 18 months in prison for participating in the false billing of nearly $1.7 million from the Medicaid program, state authorities announced.

Judge Wanda Heard sentenced Dr. James An Nguyen to five years in prison but suspended all but 18 months and ordered him to pay $305,000 in restitution to Medicaid. He has repaid nearly one-third of that amount.

Nguyen, of the 4300 block of Mary Ridge Drive in Randallstown, had pleaded guilty to the false billing. According to the Maryland attorney general's office, Nguyen formed a billing agreement from 2002 to 2004 with the Bridges Project LLC, a counseling service mostly for Baltimore children on Medicaid.

Under the agreement, the counseling service used Nguyen's provider number to bill more than 18,000 therapy sessions that he did not provide or supervise. In return, Nguyen received 20 percent of the Medicaid payments, which amounted to about $340,000 of the $1.7 million Medicaid paid to cover the illegal claims.

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