A federal jury charged owners and operators of two medical equipment companies on 8th July 2021 with one count of scheme to defraud the government and pay and receive health care bribes and one count of scheme to commit money laundering.
As per the evidence presented during the trial, Leah Hagen, age 49, and Michael Hagen, age 54, both from Arlington, Texas, owned and operated two durable medical equipment companies: Metro DME Supply, LLC and Ortho Pain Solutions, LLC, both located in Arlington area. The defendants offered fixed-rate payment for each durable medical equipment item in exchange for prescriptions and documents completed by telemedicine doctors, which were used to fraudulently bill Medicare. The defendants offered unlawful kickbacks and bribes and wired funds to their co-conspirator’s call center in the Philippines in exchange for signed physician orders for orthotic braces. The testimony at trial showed emails exchanged between the defendants and their co-conspirators with item per price structure for orthotic braces but covering up their agreement as that of marketing services and others.
Through this conspiracy, the defendants submitted claims to Medicare Parts B and C in amounts of about 59 million U.S. dollars and received payments of about 27 million U.S. dollars. The defendants wired millions of dollars of the proceeds into their own bank accounts, both in the United States and abroad. Leah and Michael, each face a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting United States Attorney of the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s Dallas Region Miranda Bennett, and Special Agent-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office Matthew J. DeSarno made the announcement.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this matter as part of Operation Brace Yourself, a federal law execution operation under the leadership of the Criminal Division Fraud Section’s Health Care Fraud Unit, in collaboration with the Offices of the United States Attorney for the South Carolina District, New Jersey District, and the Middle District of Florida.
Assistant Deputy Chief Adrienne Frazior and Trial Attorneys of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section Catherine Wagner and Brynn Schiess are prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section of the Criminal Division leads the Health Care Fraud Strike Force. Since its creation in March 2007, the Health Care Fraud Strike Force, which consists of 15 strike forces based in 24 districts, has convicted over 4,200 accused individuals who have generally billed the Medicare program for about 19 billion U.S. dollars. Furthermore, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, are taking initiatives to promote accountability and reduce the practices of fraudulent providers.
Breaking the Controlled Substance Statute, the False Claim Act, and the Anti-Kickback Statute is harshly punished by the law. Besides, conspiracy to commit health care fraud like stealing taxpayer-funded health care programs, like the Medicare, TRICARE, or Medicaid programs, is a serious crime. Any person who executes these crimes violates the law and is sternly fined or punished if found liable of or pleads guilty to the accusations. When charged for these offenses, one must look for the best legal assistance or representation to defend, fight, and pursue their rights. You should hire our competent team of the best defense and criminal attorneys if you require the most exceptional legal assistance and representation, which guarantees positive results for your case. Health Care Fraud Group consists of a highly qualified team of lawyers with tremendous skills in handling Health Care Fraud-linked matters concerning Federal Health Care programs; they are highly informed about civil and federal matters. The attorneys are well-known across the nation due to their remarkable work and proficiency when tackling health care fraud investigations and cases. Our experienced attorneys are fully fitted out with prior knowledge of each phase of Health Care fraud protection, medical, and legal issues.
Our offices are functional 24/7, and we are fully prepared and set to begin your protection instantly. We conduct a brief and safe assessment of your issue and work fast to collect, acquire, and bring together the necessary and vital particulars regarding your case in the government’s inquiries. Once you employ us, we will assist you and your colleagues to come up with the correct and best verdict.
Besides, we will offer you and your team with full legal assistance and defense in matters and investigations that you are indicted with and even those in other firms or institutions that cover the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and inquiries and cases that are under the jurisdiction of the CMS, DOJ, DHHS, OIG, and DEA. Also, we will inquire about potential health care fraud and assist in keeping you and your career safe. Our highly qualified attorneys at the HCFG are conversant and clearly understand the need to prove innocence after the accusation of any crime. For any legal representation, advice, or support you may need, contact us at 888-402-4054.