David Vandergriff, psychologist, sentenced for $88K health care fraud

September 18, 2002

A Surfside Beach man was sentenced to 15 months in prison and has to pay about $88,000 for health care fraud and mail fraud, U.S. Attorney J. Strom Thurmond Jr. said Thursday.

David Von Vandergriff, 47, was executive director and psychologist at Comprehensive Care and Pain Management Centers in Myrtle Beach when he and other employees provided fraudulent claims to health care programs to get money, Thurmond's office said. Between October 1998 and February 2000, the center sought more than $1 million for unnecessary nerve tests where physicians threatened to withhold medicine from patients if the patients refused the tests. Vandergriff manipulated many of the nerve tests to make them appear abnormal, which increased the likelihood of reimbursement from the patients' health care benefit plans, Thurmond said.

Vandergriff was also found guilty of filing false and fraudulent claims to the Marion-Dillon County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs between May 1995 and August 1997 as executive director. He resigned from the position after the board conducted an audit.

Source: "Man sentenced for health care fraud," Associated Press, September 13, 2002.

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