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Salyersville Independent

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Four federally indicted in health care fraud case

LEXINGTON – Four people, including one formerly from Magoffin County, were indicted last week on federal charges related to health care fraud and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

On February 2, a federal grand jury in United States District Court Eastern District of Kentucky Central Division, in Lexington, released an indictment against Dr. Jose Alzadon, Kristy Berry, Michael Bregenzer and Barbie Vanhoose, alleging they submitted fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims for health care services they did not perform or services that had been “upcoded” or billed at a higher level than warranted for the visit, as well as distributed quantities of controlled substance, including Suboxone, in a manner they knew was unauthorized.

According to the indictment, Kristy Berry, formerly from Magoffin County, and Michael Bregenzer were owners of Kentucky Addiction Centers, with Dr. Jose Alzadon as a licensed medical doctor working at the KAC clinics to treat patients for opioid addition. Barbie VanHoose was a billing manager for KAC. The 13 charges listed in the indictment referenced events that allegedly occurred from October 2017 through April 2022 in Johnson and Clark counties.

Counts 1 through 12 hold a maximum sentence of not more than 10 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000 or greater of twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss, and supervised release of not more than three years. Count 13 carries a penalty of not more than five years imprisonment and a fine of not more than $250,000. The four are to forfeit anything derived from the alleged actions, or if not in their possession, other property they own up to the value of the property described.

Dr. Alzadon was arrested and released on bond, with a pretrial conference scheduled for March 30 at 11 a.m. in Lexington before Chief Judge Reeves. A jury trial is tentatively slated for April 11 at 9 a.m. in Covington before Chief Judge Reeves. He was arraigned on Monday, pleading not guilty to the charges. He qualified for a court-appointed attorney, with attorney Noah Friend appointed to represent him.

A court summons was issued for Berry, Bregenzer and VanHoose, to appear for an initial appearance and arraignment in U.S. District Court in Lexington on February 23 at 10 a.m.

Editor’s Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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