Oxford podiatrist accused of $3.8M fraud

·2 min read

Jul. 20—OXFORD — An Oxford doctor has been arrested after being accused of playing a role in fleecing $3.8 million from the United States and health care benefits programs.

Podiatrist M. Shaun Lund, 53, was arrested on July 15 after a grand jury handed down a nine-count indictment, which included seven counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. He was released the same day on an unsecured $10,000 bond. The only conditions of his release was to surrender his passport and not break any laws.

According to court documents, Lund ran "The Foot Doctor," a podiatry clinic with an in-house pharmacy that he used to prescribe foot bath medications and to order molecular diagnostic testing. The indictment says Lund and his co-conspirators fraudulently billed insurance companies — including Medicare and TRICARE, which provides benefits to U.S. military personnel, retirees and their families.

Between April 2016 and July 2021, Lund and his co-conspirators allegedly submitted at least $2.9 million in false and fraudulent claims for foot bath medications. They were reimbursed at least $2.3 million. During a 29-month period ending in May 2020, the group allegedly caused a diagnostic laboratory to submit more than $900,000 is fraudulent claims. The lab was reimbursed more than $200,000.

Lund began prescribing foot baths in April 2016 and the group was reimbursed by Medicare for the drugs contained in the bath. The 32-page indictment says Lund used medication that did not require pre-authorization by Medicare. There was also no limit on the number of drugs that could be combined in the treatments, thus increasing the amount of each bill.

The indictment questions the use or efficacy of some drugs Lund prescribed. One topical foot fungus cream was prescribed in large quantities, and the patients were instructed to put the cream in a warm water foot bath. The drug was not water soluble. In other instances, patients with no documented open wounds or bacterial infections were prescribed antibiotic foot medications in their baths.

In addition to the fraudulent submissions that benefited Lund and the co-conspirators, the indictment alleges that certain participating pharmacies and laboratories also paid kickbacks and bribes to Lund for sending the additional business their way. The indictment cites text messages between Lund and a co-conspirator talking about the kickbacks. Lund received around $100 for each diagnostic test. After one text message thread discussed sending Lund to Hawaii on vacation, the co-conspirator reportedly wrote, "Not joking. Delete that before I get arrested though."

The indictment only tells the government's side of the allegations.

Lund's trial is scheduled to happen Aug. 22 in Oxford before U.S. District Court Judge Glen Davidson. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 95 years in a federal prison.

william.moore@djournal.com