Patient Recruiter Sentenced in 2,800,000 U.S. Dollars Telemedicine Conspiracy Against the Medicare Program

Patient Recruiter Sentenced in 2,800,000 U.S. Dollars Telemedicine Conspiracy Against the Medicare Program

On 11th Jan 2021, the owner of an Orlando-based telemarketing call center was sentenced for his role and participation in a kickback conspiracy involving costly genetic tests and deceitful telemedicine services that led to the reimbursement of about 2.8 million U.S. dollars in fraudulent and false claims to the Medicare program.

The Justice Department’s Criminal Division Acting Assistant Attorney General David P. Burns, Florida’s Middle District U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez, The Federal Bureau of Investigation – Tampa Division Special Agent in Charge Michael F. McPherson, and Special Agent Omar Pérez Aybar in Charge of the HHS-OIG (United States Health & Human Services Department – Office of Inspector General) for Florida’s Middle District reported the conviction.

Ivan Andre Scott, from Kissimmee, Florida, age 34, was sentenced after a four-day trial of one charge of scheme to execute health care fraud, three charges of health care fraud, one charge of scheme to swindle the United States and reimburse and obtain health care kickbacks, and three charges of obtaining kickbacks.

Pursuant to attestation presented at trial, Ivan Scott was the Scott Global owner, a telemarketing call center based in Orlando. The attestation showed that Ivan Scott targeted the Medicare program recipients with telemarketing phone calls deceitfully stating that the Medicare program covered costly cancer screening genetic testing, or “CGx.” The screening could go for as much as 6,000 U.S. dollars per test. Once beneficiaries consented to take the test, the attestation showed that Ivan Scott reimbursed kickbacks and bribes to telemedicine firms to receive physician’s orders approving the tests.

The attestation revealed that the telemedicine physicians authorized the costly testing, although they were not treating the recipients for cancer or cancer symptoms, and frequently without even talking with the beneficiary. Pursuant to the attestation presented at trial, Ivan Scott later sold the genetic tests and physician’s orders to laboratories in return for illicit kickbacks. To cover up the illicit kickbacks, Ivan Scott submitted invoices to the labs and other promoters making it look as if he was being reimbursed for hourly advertising services, instead of per referral.

From November 2018 to May 2019, laboratories submitted over 2.8 million U.S. dollars in claims to the Medicare program for genetic tests Ivan Scott referred to them, of which the Medicare program reimbursed more than 880,000 U.S. dollars. In that timeframe, Ivan Scott personally obtained about 180,000 U.S. dollars for his role in the conspiracy.

The United States Health & Human Services Department – Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the investigation of this matter. The case originated from a part of Operation Double Helix, a federal law enforcement operation steered by the HCFSF (Health Care Fraud Strike Force), under the leadership of the Criminal Division – Fraud Section, targeted on fake genetic cancer testing that has led to indictments against dozens of accused people linked with telemedicine firms and cancer genetic testing labs for their purported participation and role in one of the biggest health care fraud conspiracies ever charged. Trial Attorney Alejandro Salicrup and Trial Attorney Jamie de Boer of the Criminal Division – Fraud Section handled the prosecution of this matter.

Violating the Anti-Kickback Act, the False Claim Statute, and the Controlled Substance Act is harshly punished by the law. Also, scheming to commit health care fraud like defrauding taxpayer-funded health care plans, such as Medicaid, TRICARE, or Medicare programs, is a severe crime. Any individual who executes these crimes violates the law and is sternly penalized or fined if found liable for the accusations. When charged with these crimes, you should search for the best legal advice or representation to protect and pursue your rights. Hire our highly qualified team of the finest defense and criminal attorneys if you required highly exceptional legal representation and assistance, which will result in achieving positive results for your issue. Health Care Fraud Group comprises an experienced team of lawyers with tremendous experience in handling Health Care Fraud related issues related to the Federal Health Care System; they are highly knowledgeable about civil and federal matters. The defense attorneys are well recognized across the nation due to their excellent and remarkable work and professionalism when dealing with health care fraud matters and investigations. Our attorneys are well-equipped with past knowledge of each aspect of Health Care fraud defense, medical, and legal issues.

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