Doctor sentenced to 4 years in prison for false bills in Alberta
The facts of which Dr. Yifei Shi is guilty date back to 2016. The amount of the fraud relates to more than $827,000 (archives).
Edmonton family physician Dr. Yifei Shi was sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday after she admitted committing fraud and issuing false bills worth more than $827,000 . According to the Crown, this is the largest physician billing fraud in Alberta history.
In 2016, Dr. Yifei Shi billed Alberta Health Services a total of $1,388,862. According to an agreed statement of facts filed in the Court of King's Bench Thursday morning in Edmonton, $827,077 was fraudulent. The doctor had billed this amount for non-existent psychiatric counseling and treatment for hundreds of patients.
Yifei Shi was charged in April 2021 by Edmonton police with fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000. Police alleged they overcharged the Alberta government by $4.1 million in a fraud scheme that dated back to 2013.
The doctor only admitted committing fraud during 2016.View larger
It was in this clinic in west Edmonton that Dr. Yifei Shi practiced (archives).
After being charged, she was allowed to continue practicing medicine, but her fees had to be withheld by Alberta Health Services to reimburse the defrauded sum.
Faced with criminal charges, she continued to work, knowing the money would be withheld, his lawyer Kent Teskey pointed out in court. She served her patients and they appreciate the fact that she continued to practice, he said, adding that his client was remorseful.
Even though Court of King's Bench Judge Paul Belzil conceded that forfeiting that money while under indictment was a sign of remorse, that did not allow the defense, which instead proposed a sentence of two to two and a half years in prison, to win the case.
In addition to the four-year prison sentence, Judge Paul Belzil also ordered Dr. Yifei Shi to refund the fraudulently charged amount in full.
Crown Attorney Megan Rosborough asked the judge to impose a five-year sentence, and noted that at the time Dr. Yifei Shi cheated, she had a happy family, she was fine. educated and had a dream job that could bring her a large income.
She committed fraud daily, often several times a day, over the course of her life. a year, explained Megan Rosborough. The only reason she committed [this fraud] was greed.
We entrust our lives to doctors, she also stressed. We should be able to trust them with our money.
While some of Dr. Yifei Shi's patients were compassionate, others said they felt betrayed by her. Dr. Yifei Shi's license may be permanently revoked by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.
With information from Janice Johnston< /em>