Filipino doctor, wanted in US, now a medical reservist in AFPBy Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) finally caught up with a Filipino doctor long wanted in the United States for allegedly defrauding the state of California of some $3 million in fake medical claims.
Dr. Eric Uy Chan, who had been hiding from US authorities since 2000, was arrested right inside the Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo where he had managed to wangle a commission as a lieutenant colonel in the Medical Reserve Corps.
NBI Foreign Liaison Division chief Claro de Castro said Tuesday they had initially received information that the 48-year-old Chan had assumed the name Eric Uy Garchitorena and had joined the AFP.
De Castro told the Inquirer they waited for the doctor to turn up at a medical reservists’ meeting at Aguinaldo on Saturday morning and arrested him on sight.
He said they had been looking for Chan since Aug. 28, 2006, when a Manila court issued a warrant for his arrest based on a request from the US government coursed through the Department of Justice.
Chan is wanted by US authorities for conspiracy to commit a crime, grand theft and health care fraud for presenting false medical claims and collecting payments amounting to more than $3 million from the California Medi-Cal Program.
Two California state courts separately issued warrants for his arrest in January 2000 and February 2003 stemming from a complaint that alleged that in 1996, Chan and his two co-accused operated the Green Cross Medical Clinic in Carson City, California, with neither a license from the state nor a medical service provider number.
To secure payments from the state’s Department of Health Services through its Medi-Cal program, Chan and his co-accused allegedly used the provider number of a licensed doctor they had hired, submitting claims for services not actually provided by the doctor amounting to $517,000.
When the doctor deactivated her provider number, Chan and his cohorts allegedly opened another clinic, Evergreen Medical Clinic, in the same city in March 1997.
They hired another doctor, whose provider number they again allegedly used to make fraudulent claims of $1.7 million.
When this con was discovered, Chan allegedly put up West Coast Intermed Management where he again hired a licensed doctor to obtain his Medi-Cal provider number and use it to receive payments for fabricated patient charts in the total amount of $900,000.
When the fraud was discovered in 1999, charges were filed against Chan and his co-accused. While Chan hid out in the Philippines, one of his co-accused, Chan Annilie Arcangel Ferrer, pleaded guilty in California and was sentenced to five years in state prison.
Chan is being held at the NBI jail pending his extradition to the United States to face the charges filed against him in the Superior Court of California.