Convicted Lab Owner Forced to Surrender $187M in Healthcare Fraud Proceeds
A U.S. District Court judge ordered a defendant accused of healthcare fraud to fork over $187 million in allegedly fraudulent proceeds. The US Justice Department also seized over $30 million in proceeds including money from personal bank accounts, a 2018 Ferrari Spider, and a 2019 Land Rover. In this article, the Tampa, FL federal defense attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm will discuss the concept of health care fraud and how it applies to the aforementioned case.
Defendant accused of bilking Medicare of millions
According to the Department of Justice, the defendant owned LabSolutions LLC, a medical lab that performed sophisticated genetic tests. These tests are not strictly necessary in a lot of cases, but the defendant conspired with patient brokers, telemedicine companies, and call centers to target Medicare recipients for unnecessary genetic tests. He used the call centers to claim that Medicare falsely covered the genetic tests for cancer.
When the Medicare beneficiaries agreed to take the test, the defendant paid kickbacks and bribes to patient brokers used to obtain signed doctors’ orders authorizing the genetic cancer tests from telemedicine companies. The defendant required patient brokers to sign sham contracts that falsely stated that the brokers were legitimately advertising for the company. This was accomplished so that he could conceal kickbacks and bribes paid to the patient brokers. The defendant knew that the brokers were deceptively marketing to Medicare beneficiaries and paying kickbacks and bribes to telemedicine companies for genetic testing prescriptions.
Kickbacks, bribes, and patient brokering
One of the most common forms of healthcare fraud is billing for services that are not required. To artificially inflate demand for these services, fraudsters engage in numerous tactics including patient brokering, kickbacks, and bribes paid to telemedicine companies that robo-sign prescriptions related to their unnecessary services.
In the case mentioned above, the defendant knew that telemedicine doctors were robo-signing the prescriptions for expensive genetic testing even though they were not treating the beneficiaries. The defendant would then pay some amount of money for every new prescription they signed off on. From July 2016 to August of 2019, LabSolutions submitted more than $463 million in claims to Medicare including thousands of medically unnecessary genetic tests. Medicare paid $187 million related to these claims. The defendant then used the money to make luxury purchases such as a 2018 Red Ferrari Spider.
Federal authorities aggressively pursue claims of health care fraud against those who bilk public healthcare insurance of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains. In this case, the federal government seized millions in money that was gained through the process of health care fraud. The FBI investigated the case, and the defendant was charged by the federal government.
Talk to a Tampa, FL Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
The Matassini Law Firm represents the interests of those who have been investigated or charged with various forms of fraud by the federal government. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with our board certified criminal trial lawyer and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.