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Edmonton doctor sentenced to 4 years in jail for fraud

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A doctor based in the Alberta capital is headed to prison for fraudulently billing Alberta Health Services more than $800,000.

Dr. Yifei Shi, 35, was charged last year in what police described as an "ongoing billing scheme" dating back to 2013.

The physician pleaded guilty to fraud over $5,000 and on Thursday was sentenced to four years in prison.

An agreed statement of facts obtained by CTV News Edmonton states that Shi billed for "psychiatric counselling on almost every patient that she saw" but often didn't provide those services.

Shi was initially accused of fraudulently billing the province up to $4.1 million in fees for service, but pleaded guilty only to overcharging by $827,077 in 2016.

Her total billings that year were $1,388,862. The court document states the average for general practitioners in Alberta in 2016 was $306,332.

Court of King's Bench Justice Paul Belzil also ordered Shi to pay back $827,077 in restitution, according to a story by CBC Edmonton.

Before being charged, Shi practiced family and cosmetic medicine at the Commerce Park Medical Clinic on 100 Avenue and 166 Street.

The doctor sent a letter to her patients last week advising them she was closing her west Edmonton practice because she couldn't find anyone to take over.

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