Lawsuit: Sanford Neurosurgeon Made Millions Defrauding the Government

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A new federal lawsuit alleges that a now-former Sanford Neurosurgeon and his wife made millions of dollars in a kickback scheme that defrauded the federal government.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by the U.S. Justice Department says Dr.Wilson Asfora performed “medically unnecessary” procedures while using devices Sanford bought from a company he owns. That company is Medical Designs LLC. Dr. Asfora then submitted claims to federal healthcare programs which resulted in financial kickbacks, according to the claim.

The filing says Asfora and his wife profited by at least $4.3 million from 2012 to 2018 as part of the kickback scheme with Medical Designs making direct payments to the couple, and a business controlled by the surgeon.

The lawsuit also says Asfora and medical Designs created a separate company called “Sicage” to distribute a different device used by Asfora to receive kickbacks.

According to the filing, Asfora engaged in the kickback scheme despite warnings from his attorney and continued with “excessive and aggressive procedures that went against conventional teaching and practices.”

Dr. Asfora was terminated from Sanford in September. The lawsuit comes weeks after Sanford settled a $20 million whistleblower claim stemming from Asfora’s alleged practices.

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