Former spine surgeon accidentally burns down mansion in evidence-destroying venture

Eric Oliver -   Print  |

Mark Kuper, MD, and wife Melissa Kuper accidentally burned down their $1.6 million Fort Worth, Texas, house when Mrs. Kuper allegedly burned medical records in an attempt to hide evidence of fraudulent medical claims, state prosecutors alleged in an indictment filed against the couple June 17.

The Dallas Morning News reported on the indictment which alleged Mrs. Kuper, who was the clinic's office manager, set fire to a number of medical records in their backyard in October 2017; that fire spread and ultimately razed the couple's mansion.

The indictment accused the Kupers and their clinic, Fort Worth-based Texas Center Orthopedic & Spinal Disorders, of defrauding Medicare and other government healthcare programs for around $5 million. Dr. Kuper and the clinic allegedly submitted more than 100,000 fraudulent claims for fake physical therapy, psychotherapy and pain management services from 2014 to 2017.

Dr. Kuper started his career as a surgeon, but converted his practice to an unregistered pain management clinic in 2014 after settling a malpractice lawsuit against him. Dr. Kuper viewed pain management as "bottom feeding," the indictment said. The government alleged Dr. Kuper used opioids to get regular patients to return for treatments so he could bill the government for "worthless services."

Dr. and Mrs. Kuper appeared in federal court in Fort Worth June 22 and pleaded not guilty in a whistleblower lawsuit.

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