Byline: Jim McElhatton, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A prominent HIV specialist in the District has been charged with submitting phony Medicare claims and pocketing the money to pay rent, utilities and personal expenses.
Dr. Larry M. Bruni faces up to 10 years in prison for the health care fraud charges, filed Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney's Office in federal court in the District.
The charges followed an investigation into his billing practices from 2001 to 2003. The probe focused on Dr. Bruni's claims for injections of a drug called Reteplase, usually a first-aid blood thinner for patients within a few hours of a heart attack, according to prosecutors.
However, charging documents say Dr. Bruni submitted claims for injecting the Reteplase in a single patient 185 times. Investigators also found claims for three Reteplase injections in a second patient, records show.
Dr. Bruni, who has since moved to upstate New York, specialized in treating HIV/AIDS patients from his office in the 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast.
Dr. Bruni's attorney, Michael L. Fayad, has declined to comment through a spokeswoman. Messages left at a phone number listed under Dr. Bruni's name in Albany, N.Y., were not returned.
The charging documents also state that Dr. Bruni worked with another unidentified individual who assisted him in …