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Pleasanton Man Accused Of Fraud In Operation Of Medical Clinic

REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) -- A Pleasanton man has been charged with insurance fraud in connection with a medical clinic he allegedly owned illegally, San Mateo County prosecutors said Tuesday.

Matthew Skinner, 47, is accused of owning Pacific Occupational Health Clinic at 3 S. Linden Ave. in South San Francisco, which is now closed.

Prosecutors said he was not allowed to own the clinic because he is not a doctor and doctors are required to own at least 51 percent of a medical practice.

Prosecutors said the law exists so laypersons are not supervising and influencing the care of doctors.

"Mr. Skinner asserts his innocence to the charges and looks forward to answering the allegations in court," Skinner's attorney Ted Cassman said. "He took great pride in the excellent service that his clinics provided over the years, and he was always committed to patients' health."

Skinner allegedly holds no medical license and his mother Paula Skinner allegedly holds only a physical therapist's license.

People who have a medical license considered lower than a doctor's can own only up to 49 percent of a medical practice, according to prosecutors.

Pacific Occupational Health Clinic, which handled worker's compensation claims, allegedly illegally employed doctors, prosecutors said.

Also, Skinner allegedly took X-rays of patients occasionally, which he was not licensed to do, and allegedly gave instructions to doctors to maximize profits, prosecutors said.

Five insurance companies were alleged victims in the scheme. Those companies were billed a total of $15,226,487.55 between 2010 and 2016 and Pacific Occupational Health Clinic received $4,555,567.28 from the companies.

Skinner had been in jail on nearly $12 million bail, but on Monday his bail was reduced to $3 million.

He is scheduled to be back in court on Wednesday when he is expected to enter a plea.

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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