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AEL Steers Parallel Healthcare Fraud Case to Civil-Only Resolution; Obtains DPA in Indicted Case

March 9, 2021 - David M. Eskew

Abell Eskew Landau LLP (AEL) successfully negotiated the resolution of parallel criminal and civil cases pending in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) against Dr. Feng Qin, a Manhattan-based vascular surgeon. Dr. Qin was previously indicted on healthcare fraud charges over two years ago and had been sued in a parallel civil qui tam action based upon the same alleged conduct. After years under the cloud of federal investigation and two pending cases, the cases finally concluded yesterday with a remarkable result for Dr. Qin. The SDNY United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) agreed to resolve the criminal indictment with a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA). So long as Dr. Qin abides by the terms of the DPA over the next year, the SDNY USAO agreed to dismiss its indictment against Dr. Qin and agreed that no further prosecution would be instituted in the SDNY related to the conduct alleged in the indictment. Separately, Dr. Qin agreed to resolve the civil complaint against him by paying a monetary amount of $783,200, spread out over the course of several years, and by agreeing to a period of Medicare exclusion.

The DPA and civil settlement follow more than a year of intensive negotiations between AEL and the SDNY USAO, which included presentation to the SDNY of several mitigating pieces of evidence on Dr. Qin’s behalf that AEL uncovered as part of its own investigation. As the DPA expressly recognizes, “after a thorough investigation it has been determined that the interest of the United States and [Dr. Qin’s] own interest will best be served by deferring prosecution in this District.” On the civil side, AEL also advocated for a financial inability to pay analysis, which resulted in the substantial reduction of the civil penalty to be paid by Dr. Qin and a lengthy payment plan.

Dr. Qin is a hard-working Chinese immigrant who put himself through medical school in China and again in the United States. Over the years, he built a thriving medical practice that treated largely underserved and needy immigrant communities in Manhattan and Queens. The parallel investigations took a deep emotional and financial toll on Dr. Qin and his family, and he is relieved that the cases have now been finally resolved without the stigma of a criminal conviction and with a potential path, after paying his civil settlement and serving his exclusion period, to resuming his medical practice in the future.  

This case once again highlights AEL’s expertise in navigating complex parallel investigations and litigating healthcare fraud cases and matter arising under the federal and state False Claims Act (FCA). The defense case was led by AEL Partners Kenneth M. Abell and David M. Eskew. You can read more about AEL’s Government Investigations and Enforcement Practice Area, White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Area, and FCA and Whistleblower Litigation Practice Area through the links.