Doctor gets probation in billings

January 07, 1998

Doctor gets probation in billings


Staff Writer

A Hagerstown physician pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court Tuesday to two counts of felony theft for submitting bogus bills in excess of $6,000 to insurance companies.

Paul Yazdani was given probation before judgment, placed on supervised probation for two years, ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and to pay back the money.

"A man doesn't stub his toe on a mountain - it's the little things," said retired Judge Darrow Glaser. "Clearly it was a fraud, clearly it was a deception."


Yazdani, 38, has an office of general medicine at 18638 Crestwood Drive. His home is at 13007 Cathedral Ave.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion described several incidents beginning in 1991 in which patients reported signing blank treatment forms when visiting Yazdani's office.

Those patients later reported billings to their insurance companies for office visits and procedures that didn't happen, Circincion said.

Circincion said one patient, Anita Weaver, would have testified that Yazdani once told her he had a child with a medical problem and wasn't getting cooperation from his insurance companies.

Another patient, Earl Whisner, supposedly was treated for removal of pre-cancerous lesions and billings were sent to his insurance companies for those treatments, Cirincion said.

But in reality he was being treated for heart and blood pressure problems, she said.

The bills submitted to Whisner's insurance companies contained fictional details about the patient's exposure to the sun as a teenager and later as a gardener, Cirincion said.

The investigation into the fraud was conducted by John H. Jones of the Maryland Insurance Administration, fraud division.

Yazdani didn't testify at the hearing, but his attorney, Charles Bernstein, issued a statement referring to the incidents as "errors in billing." He said Yazdani now has a procedure in place to guard against such errors.

Bernstein said the investigation revealed no improprieties or shortcomings with regard to patient care.

"There are a number of people depending on him for care," Glaser said in granting probation before judgment.

Several witnesses, including a number of local physicians, testified Tuesday that Yazdani is competent.

Glaser said Yazdani is known for doing charity work in his practice.

Yazdani, who has no prior criminal record, could have faced 15 years in prison on each count.

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