MANILA — A Filipino doctor accused of defrauding the United States Government of $3 million in unnecessary medical claims was arrested at a military conference last Saturday, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said.
Eric Uy Chan, alias Eric Uy Garchitorena, 48, was arrested in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Saturday after attending a conference.
An NBI report said Chan is an AFP medical corps reservist with the rank of lieutenant colonel under the name Eric Chan Garchitorena.
Chan is the subject of two arrest warrants, according to the NBI.
In January 2000, Judge Kathleen Kennedy-Powell of the Superior Court of Los Angeles, California, issued an arrest warrant for Chan to stand trial for felony.
In February 2003, Judge Jacqueline Connor of the Los Angeles Superior Court in California, issued a no-bail bench warrant against Chan for failing to appear during the sentencing in another felony complaint.
In both cases, Chan is wanted for conspiracy to commit a crime, grand theft and health care fraud or presenting false medical claims by collecting or receiving payments from the California Medi-Cal Program amounting to more than $3 million.
Chan fled to the Philippines to escape prosecution.
In 2006, a Manila court issued a no-bail arrest warrant after the U.S. requested the Department of Justice for his extradition.
According to the NBI’s foreign liaison chief Claro de Castro, Chan operated at least three clinics along with Annielie Arcangel Ferrer from 1996 until 1999.
To get around their lack of a medical license in California and a group provider number, they hired doctors.
In order for Medi-Cal to pay a clinic for treating a patient, bills must be submitted through a provider number issued to a licensed physician.
Chan and Ferrer used the doctors’ provider numbers to submit claims for services that were not actually provided.
He never appeared in court while Ferrer did not contest all the charges.
Ferrer was sentenced to five years in the state prison.