For release on December 2, 2021
Deputy District Attorney
Insurance Fraud Unit
Owner of Bay Area Acupuncture Clinics Pleads to Medical Insurance Fraud
The owner of multiple Bay Area Acupuncture clinics admitted yesterday to committing medical insurance fraud and violating California’s aggravated white-collar statute.
Dr. Hidenori Anto (aka Dr. Yunyong Lu), age 61, of Saratoga, pleaded no contest to two felony counts of insurance fraud. Dr. Anto’s plea agreement requires that he be placed on five years formal probation, serve one year of county jail, and make complete restitution of $400,000. During the five-year term of his probation, Dr. Anto cannot bill or assist anyone else in billing insurance companies for acupuncture treatments. He will be sentenced on January 3, 2022 at 9:00 AM in Department 34.
Deputy District Attorney Mattia Corsiglia said: “Medical providers hold a unique position of trust with their patients. When they use that status to defraud insurance companies and line their own pockets, they increase our insurance rates and harm the public’s confidence in our healthcare system.”
Between 2016 and 2020, Dr. Anto illegally billed numerous insurance carriers hundreds of thousands of dollars by misclassifying patient treatments, billing for work he was not qualified to complete, overbilling for patient treatments that never occurred, and masking his identity from insurance carriers. In some cases, Dr. Anto billed for medical treatment on patients, but those patients were traveling outside of country at the time.
When insurance carriers attempted to stop the excessive billing by placing Dr. Anto’s clinics on “pre-payment review,” Dr. Anto would simply obtain new identifying information and submit new bills, thus avoiding the pre-payment review process. After a multi-year investigation, his complex scheme was exposed by Santa Clara County District Attorney investigators with the help of investigators from the respective insurance carriers. In interviews, patients shared that they felt “cheated” and referred to Dr. Anto’s conduct as “pure greed.”
Since 2016, Dr. Anto has operated the following clinics:
• Anto Acupuncture & Herb Clinic (aka Anto Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Clinic aka California Holistic Health Center aka Cupertino Holistic Healing Clinic aka Bay Acupuncture Wellness Center) located at 20445 Pacifica Dr #A1 in Cupertino.
• Vitality Acupuncture Clinic (aka Vitality Health Center aka Mind and Body Wellness Center California Holistic Health Center) located at 2464 W El Camino Real #B in Mountain View.
• Prospect Acupuncture (aka Cupertino Holistic Healing) located at 18568 Prospect Rd in Saratoga.
• Green Creek Acupuncture, located at 20735 Stevens Creek Blvd #B in Cupertino.