San Diego

Three men pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges Monday for their role in a scheme to con the Department of Defense’s health insurance program out of an estimated $3 million in fraudulent claims.

Max Sperling and his two sons, Craig Allen Sperling and Howard Aaron Sperling, worked as billing administrators for a group of affiliated medical clinics that submitted the claims to a San Diego-based corporation, a federal prosecutor said.

That corporation, Centre City Funding, of the 7000 block of Friars Road, then relayed those claims to the Civilian Health and Medical Program for the Uniformed Services, a program administered by the Department of Defense, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Carol Lam.

“These men conspired with Centre City Funding to create the fraudulent bills,” Lam said. “We do not know how many of those claims were actually paid.”


According to Lam, the medical clinics solicited clients over the telephone and asked them to undergo unnecessary medical tests. The clinic’s employees told the clients that the insurance companies would cover the costs of those tests, Lam said.

Centre City Funding also submitted fraudulent claims to private insurance companies, Lam said.

Three employees of Centre City Funding, Donald Bader, Minnie Marie Bader and Maria Manuela Souza, are scheduled to stand trial in Thursday, Lam said.