Eyecare Winners And Losers In 2015

I am very proud to be in the optical business and feel that our industry provides such a great gift. The Gift Of Sight. It is always Winnersdisappointing to find members of our community that abuse and give our optical industry a bad image. Please note that this is only for the USA and does not include international eyecare professionals.

Fortunately there are more winners than losers. We want to thank each Eyecare Professional who participated in World Sight Day and went on a Mission Trip. We thank each of you that walked in Vision Walk, gave your time to Project Homeless Connect, Infant See and any other charitable cause. Thank you for having fundraising events and trunk shows. Thank you for giving time, money or products. Thank you for putting up a Lions Club Donation box in your office.

Business owners, thank you for giving and or paying staff to volunteer. Each of you is helping to make our world a better place.

For Give Back/Social Good information, please visit our Social Good Page on Pinterest.

We also want to call out those who have disgraced our industry and abused the public and our trust.

Perv Alert 

  • River Ridge: A local optometrist and former professional baseball player is accused of being in possession of child pornography. (Source)
  • Boo Seng Khoo preyed on two girls over a period spanning eight years between 2003 and 2011 before his appalling crimes were discovered. The 61-year-old — who formerly worked from the Port’s David Wyse practice on King Street — was found guilty following a trial before a jury. Seng Khoo first targeted a four-year-old in a ‘lewd and libidinous’ way in June 2003. (Source)
  • San Luis Obispo optometrist was arrested Thursday for allegedly neglecting her adult daughter. Family members contend the allegations are unfounded. On Sept. 23, Susanne Krout, 65, called for an ambulance to the Nipomo home of her son Thomas Anderson, 30, and her 28-year-old daughter. Emergency medical personnel arrived and transported Susanne Krout’s daughter to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria. (Source)
  • PORTLAND, Ore. – A man is accused of recording his five coworkers at Eyes on Broadway by hiding his cell phone in the bathroom of the optometrist office. So far Portland Police Sex Crimes detectives have identified five victims in the case; they were all employees at Eyes on Broadway in Northeast Portland. (Source)
  • EVERETT, WA — John Patrick O’Brien set the groundwork to commit a crime long before his 10-year-old victim stepped into his optometry office, prosecutors said Tuesday. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Andrew Alsdorf said he didn’t buy O’Brien’s statement that “something just came over him.” O’Brien had installed a Spy Camera app on his smartphone. He also knew he had a sexual attraction to young girls, (Source)
  • An optician in Osceola County was arrested on nine counts of child pornography, investigators said Wednesday. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Dean Bryson Osborne Jr., 55, of Kissimmee. (Source)

Drug Abuse

  • Palmyra optometrist has been suspended for a minimum of 10 years by the Pennsylvania Board of Optometry for illegally prescribing oxycodone, Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs announced Wednesday. David Wagers, 45, of 540 Old Farm Road, was charged by the Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General for illegally writing prescriptions for oxycodone to a fellow employee at Apple Hill Eye Center in York County, who then would turn the pills over to him.  (Source)
  • Charlotte; Optometrist Benjamin Hobbs faces a plea-and-sentencing hearing on drug-trafficking charges this week. He and his brother are accused of prescribing, then steal narcotics from their patients. Mecklenburg County jail. (Source)
  • Shreveport optometrist faces up to 10 years in prison for writing prescriptions for non-medical purposes and for people who were not patients. Charles D. Shanks, 63, of Shreveport, entered a conditional guilty plea Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark L. Hornsby to one count of distributing or dispensing a controlled substance. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter. (KSLA
  • A Cedar Falls optometrist is being reprimanded for violating a sobriety agreement.(Source)

Animal Abuse

  • TOMBALL, TexasA Tomball optometrist facing criminal charges for animal cruelty is in trouble again for violating a federal bankruptcy judge’s order relating to that case. In August 2014, as part of a bankruptcy judgement, the judge ordered the seizure of more than 100 collies found at Elaine Kmiec’s Tomball home. (Source)

Fraud 

  • Augusta, GA – An Augusta optometrist and his businesses have settled a False Claims Act Case for $275,000 in Federal Court in Augusta. According to U.S. District Attorney Edward Tarver’s office, Jeffrey Sponseller, O.D. of Augusta, Sponseller Eye Care One, P.C., and S&H Eye Care, LLC, currently doing business as “Eye Care One”, have agreed to pay the United States a total of $275,000 to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by submitting or causing the submission of false claims to federal and state healthcare programs for services that were either inadequately performed or not performed at all. (Source)
  • Atlanta, GA- A DeKalb County woman has been indicted on federal charges of health care fraud that stem from billing Medicaid and Medicare for expensive eye procedures, which were never performed. Matilda Prince was originally arrested in DeKalb County for health care fraud in 2009. She was found guilty and ordered to never work for any entity that receives funding from Medicaid and Medicare again, along with paying restitution of $109,000.
  • Kentucky: A Somerset optometrist has been found liable for seeking payment from Medicare for more than 11,000 unnecessary eye examinations on nursing home residents. A federal jury in Frankfort ruled Friday that Dr. Phillip Robinson’s false claims defrauded Medicare of $419,075, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey. “Dr. Robinson’s scheme to defraud the taxpayers betrays the standards we expect of our health care providers,” Harvey said. “His willingness to use many of our most vulnerable citizens to further his financial interests at the expense of our vital federally funded health care programs is particularly troubling.” (Source)
  • New York:  The owner of a Brooklyn eyeglass store took out millions of dollars in bogus loans under the names of doctors and partners in his Park Slope practice — then used the stolen cash to fund a lavish lifestyle of casino junkets and shopping sprees for his actress girlfriend, prosectors said. (Source)
  • New York: Eyeglass heir parties with drugs, hookers on company’s dime: lawsuit (NY Post)
  • Oklahoma–  A Claremore optometrist has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a federal lawsuit that alleged false Medicaid and Medicare billing dating back 10 years, prosecutors said Thursday. Robert Charles Duke, 63, agreed to the settlement amount after state and federal prosecutors sued him and his Catoosa business, claiming the two had received more than $1 million in payments after submitting false and inflated patient billings over the years. (Source)
  • Waynesburg – A Rices Landing optometrist, originally charged with insurance fraud and other charges, pleaded no contest last week to a charge of forgery and was sentenced by Greene County President Judge Farley Toothman to 30 months in the county intermediate punishment program. David Pokorski Alan, 68, of 100 Grandview Heights, was initially charged with theft, forgery and insurance fraud, However, as part of a plea agreement, the state attorney general’s office, which prosecuted the case, withdrew the insurance fraud and theft charges. (Source)
  • Gwinnett County man faces numerous charges for allegedly posing as an eye doctor for several years to treat patients and bill insurance companies. Police are looking for Choon Kyung Kim, who runs an eye care office on Satellite Boulevard, where he allegedly carried out the fraud. (Source)
  • KENOSHA — Former patients accuse optician of doing eye exams without a license (Source)

While this is not especially an eyecare professional… But really!!!  Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)  standing in a press conference asking the FTC to update the regulations on eyeglass prescriptions…. “for 21st-century competition by allowing patients to obtain a full copy of their eyeglass prescriptions so they can take that prescription anywhere they want—even online. Eyeglasses are a necessity for millions of Americans, yet sky-high prices are making them unaffordable. We need more oversight when it comes to the cost of eyeglasses and one way to do that is to require patients get their full prescriptions so they can shop around in stores and online for the best deal. Consumers need more options when it comes to eyeglasses and that’s why the FTC should update the ‘Eyeglass Rule’ in a way that helps spur competition and dramatically lower prices.

…’require eyecare providers to provide complete eyeglass prescription information to consumers, including specifics like pupillary distance. Require prescription providers to verify prescription information for third party sellers in a reasonable time, allowing a consumer to take their prescription wherever they desire. Require eyeglass prescriptions to last longer than just one year, so consumers have more time to comparison shop.”

To add your comment and concerns to the list visit the FTC page here.

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