Lab owner pleads guilty to $6.9M genetic, COVID-19 testing fraud

Christopher Licata, owner of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Boca Toxicology laboratory (doing business as Lab Dynamics) pleaded guilty to a $6.9 million conspiracy to defraud CMS, the Department of Justice said Jan. 13.

According to court documents, Mr. Licata allegedly paid kickbacks and bribes to physicians in exchange for the ordering of medically unnecessary lab tests that were billed to Medicare. Mr. Licata allegedly bundled COVID-19 testing with unneeded genetic tests and tests for rare respiratory pathogens, the DOJ said.

The allegedly frivolous genetic tests included those for cancer, diabetes, obesity, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and dementia.

Mr. Licata is scheduled to be sentenced March 24, the DOJ said. Conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, the charge he pleaded guilty to, carries a potential maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

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