05/17/2013 11:07 EDT | Updated 07/17/2013 05:12 EDT

Taxpayers Federation outraged after acupuncturist's alleged fraud

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is outraged that a Richmond, B.C. acupuncturist was able to allegedly defraud the province's Medical Services Plan for years.

Mubai Qiu is being investigated by the industry's regulatory body for billing MSP over $1.2 million last year.

It is the second time Qiu has been investigated.

The ministry raised a red flag on his practice after a 2009 review showed he was one of the province's top two billing acupuncturists. But when MSP auditors tried to recover $632,000 in over-billing in 2010, they ended up settling for $100,000.

"This is our money. This isn't government's money. This isn't the health ministry's money. This is taxpayers' money," said Jordan Bateman, B.C. director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

"We need to know this money is being taken care of and we need to know that when people are bilking the system, we're getting as much back as possible."

Qiu claims to have seen up to 461 patients in a single day, but an investigation by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia found his clinic nearly empty during an inspection last July.

"Taxpayers are the ones feeling all the pain in this story. Amazing that this could be red-flagged and then take years for them to actually pursue," Bateman said.

The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine has held a hearing into the allegations against Qiu, but reserved its decision until the end of May.