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Doctor faces charge of Medicaid fraud

By SHANNONCOLAVECCHIO-VAN SICKLER
Published October 16, 2004

TAMPA - Orthopedic doctor Lehel "Lee" Kadosa, one of several local professionals accused three years ago of taking part in an underage prostitution ring, is facing trouble again.

This time, Kadosa is accused of billing Medicaid for services he never provided, and of writing prescriptions for powerful drugs including Vicodin to patients who didn't need them.

Kadosa, a physician with the American Spine and Pain Rehabilitation Institute, was arrested Friday and taken to the Orient Road Jail. He is charged with Medicaid fraud and assisting in obtaining a controlled substance, both third-degree felonies.

If convicted, Kadosa, 59, faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each charge. He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to jail records.

The arrest comes as Kadosa, of 15136 Springview St. in northwest Hillsborough, serves four years' probation on a charge of felony battery on an underage girl.

Kadosa was arrested in 2001 and charged with performing lewd and lascivious acts on a 19-year-old prostitute in front of a 15-year-old girl. He also was charged with performing lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 16.

He ultimately pleaded guilty to the felony battery charge in a deal with prosecutors.

Kadosa's arrest was part of a broad investigation involving several local professionals accused of being involved in a teenage prostitution ring.

The latest charges against Kadosa are the result of an undercover investigation that began in April and was conducted by the Florida Attorney General's Office's Medicaid fraud control unit.

According to the arrest affidavit released Friday, investigators between April 30 and July 7 went to Kadosa's office at 7208 N Sterling Ave. and posed as patients trying to get prescription drugs.

On the first visit, an investigator using a fake name had to pay $400 just to see Kadosa, according to the affidavit. Then the investigator asked for Vicodin and Xanax, and told Kadosa he had been buying them "on the street" but had trouble getting them since moving to Tampa.

Kadosa prescribed 60 pills of Vicodin, a painkiller; and 60 pills of Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, investigator Neil Kailimai wrote in the affidavit. Investigators visited the office three more times, and each time paid $200 to see the doctor and then left with prescriptions, Kailimai said.

During the last visit, an investigator found records that showed Kadosa falsely claimed he treated the undercover investigator for various back problems and gave him injections as part of the treatment, according to the affidavit.

Kailimai also alleges that at least twice, Kadosa billed Medicaid for the treatment of a patient who never came into his office. And at least once, the affidavit alleges, Kadosa created a false billing record that requested Medicaid reimburse him for a procedure.

State records show Kadosa is a licensed Florida physician who attended Hungarian medical school. The Florida Board of Medicine in 1991 fined Kadosa $3,500 and placed him on probation for 18 months after finding he prescribed anabolic steroids to a body-builder, records show. In 1999, the board reprimanded Kadosa for recommending unnecessary and excessive treatment to a 51-year-old woman with back and neck problems. He was fined $20,000 and placed on a three-year probation.

Staff researcher Cathy Wos contributed to this report. Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler can be reached at 813 226-3373 or svansickler@sptimes.com

[Last modified October 16, 2004, 01:00:34]


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