If the doctors who worked closely with Brown paid more attention, however, they could have halted the scheme quickly, and that's a lesson in itself.
"Brown tricked the physicians into believing that he was also a doctor," says Patrick Crosby, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney. "These techniques would not have been successful if the physicians had verified his credentials."
Brown purported to provide allergy testing and immunotherapy for patients at more than 20 health fairs and various work sites, according to the grand jury indictment I reviewed. Although the U.S. Attorney's Office says they are not aware of anyone seriously injured by Brown's actions, "because of the number of patients, it is possible that some victims have suffered injuries we are not aware of," says Crosby.
Brown convinced at least six physicians to pay him loads of money for his work. Not only didn't they check who he was, they left him alone for much of the time while he was reviewing patients' conditions at job fairs or offices. The physicians also agreed to Brown's proposal to allow him to perform allergy and immunotherapy testing in their offices, bill the services to healthcare benefits programs under the host physicians' provider numbers, and pay Brown half of the ill-gained fees from the benefit programs, prosecutors say.
Maybe the real physicians and their fake colleague were in a hurried environment. Maybe the real docs were thrown off by the white coat Brown wore, embroidered with the words "Dr. Matthew Brown," court records show.