After fraudulent sleep study clinic operation, Sterling woman sentenced to seven years

Virginia Mercury

Federal investigators say a Sterling woman ran a massive health care fraud operation in which she defrauded Medicare, Tricare, private insurance and the IRS out of more than $10 million by billing for medically unnecessary sleep studies.

Young Yi, 44, was sentenced to seven years in prison for the conspiracy, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.

The scheme centered around Yi’s two entities, 1st Class Sleep Diagnostic Center and 1st Class Medical, both formed in 2005. She allegedly solicited patients who were legitimately referred to her sleep study clinic for supplemental studies — without sending those results to the patients’ doctors.

The patients were falsely told they had no copays or coinsurance before Yi cross-billed their insurers through her different entities to hide the repetition, the news release states.

She also encouraged her employees to compete against each other and see who could refer the most friends and relatives for the fraudulent studies, according to the Department of Justice.

The employees underwent several of the unnecessary studies themselves, which were billed to their insurance. Three employees who did not have sleep apnea received 27 sleep studies between them in less than three years.

Evidence shows Yi used business bank accounts to purchase personal items, as well, including a $25,000 Rolex watch, $10,500 in mink coats, several luxury vehicles and a $1.1 million home.

After law enforcement searched her clinic’s premises in Feb. 2014, she created a charity called “New Covenant Foundation,” the release states, to which she transferred millions of dollars in office properties “to protect them from recovery from law enforcement.”

With the proceeds of her crimes, she purchased five condominiums in McLean, Chicaco and Honolulu worth more than $2.8 million.