Alleged Medical Card Fraud Could Affect Thousands of Truckers

By James Jaillet

The medical cards for possibly thousands of truck drivers are in question after an Atlanta, Georgia-based medical examiner was arrested and charged with fraudulent activity.

Dr. Anthony Lefteris was charged by federal investigators for allegedly issuing medical certifications to drivers without performing full medical exams, according to court records.

Lefteris, who operated out of an Atlanta Petro Stopping Center, has also been charged for entering those false certifications, with false medical information, to the U.S. DOT’s records.

DOT has not said whether truckers who received medical certification from Lefteris will need to be recertified and, if so, the deadline for doing so. DOT has added a note to Lefteris’ listing in the National Certified Registry of Medical Examiners saying he’s no longer certified. Truckers should not contact him for examinations, the listing says.

Lefteris issued about 360 medical cards a month, DOT investigators allege in an affidavit filed to a U.S. District Court in north Georgia. Most examiners perform only 13 to 14 a month, the affidavit says.

Based on his alleged monthly average, Lefteris could have issued certifications to more than 8,000 truckers since the FMCSA’s medical examiner registry rule took effect in 2014.

He was arrested Dec. 1 and has been granted a public defender, court documents show. Lefteris has not made a plea in the case, but he is due back in court Dec. 20. Charges against him include eight counts of false writing/documentation of the DOT’s exam forms and false entry into DOT records with the intend to impede and influence.

Officers from the U.S. DOT and the U.S. Department of Justice began investigating Lefteris in September, according to court documents. The probe followed a written statement from a driver who said Lefteris gave him a medical certification but didn’t perform any tests or examination procedures, even after the driver told him he had previously been diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Three undercover officers, all of whom hold a Georgia-issued CDL, later visited Lefteris’ office at different times. In all three instances, Lefteris granted the officers medical certification without performing all tests required, according to the officers’ affidavit. Lefteris failed to perform vision and hearing tests, urinalysis, blood pressure check or heart rate test, according to court records.

Prosecutors say Lefteris uploaded the MCSA-5875 medical forms to DOT for all three officers with fake numbers recorded in fields meant for urinalysis, vision and hearing exams, pulse and others.

Lefteris performed exams at the Petro on Hollowell Parkway in Atlanta. 

Courtesy of: http://www.overdriveonline.com

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