Michael Lee Ham

Michael Lee Ham

KINGMAN — Five people employed at the Kokopelli Eye Institute in Kingman have been indicted along with the doctor who operates the business that also has branches in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Peoria, Wickenburg, Surprise, Glendale and Fountain Hills.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich earlier this month announced the indictment of Dr. Michael Lee Ham in an alleged fraud and billing scandal.

Brnovich has subsequently announced the indictment of 44 employees who worked at the various Kokopelli Eye Institutes. The five who worked at the Kingman business and have been indicted include Monica Zavala, Donalda “Sue” Sticka, Amber Havenner, Sarah Morgan and Miranda Guffey Kendall.

“Many defendants are charged with conspiracy and with fraudulent schemes and artifaces, while others also face charges of illegally conducting an enterprise, participating in a criminal syndicate and theft,” a news release stated. “It is alleged the additional defendants assisted Dr. Ham in a variety of ways to falsify patients’ medical records for the purpose of inducing government agencies and third-party insurers to pay for cataract and other eye surgeries on patients of Kokopelli Eye Care from 2009 through the fall of 2018. It is possible some patients had cataract surgeries that were not medically necessary.”

Brnovich alleged that the scheme collected hundreds of thousands of dollars over a nine-year period by defrauding Medicare, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System and private health insurers.

Kokopelli Eye Care issued a statement Tuesday through public relations firm PR Bulldog.

"Dr. Michael Ham is a longstanding and trusted caregiver in the community for more than 20 years. At Kokopelli Eye Institute, patients are our number one priority. We remain open and our medical staff, including Dr. Ham, continues to provide quality care for our patients. We will vigorously oppose these charges and we believe we will ultimately be vindicated. For more information visit Kokopellieyecare.com."

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