Having recently written here about “target letters,” I thought it would be helpful to discuss what happens in a fairly garden variety Medicare prosecution. A few weeks back, a Florida man who the owner of a durable medical equipment company was charged in federal court in Savannah, Georgia, for his involvement in a Medicare kickback and telemedicine conspiracy.
Patrick Wolfe of Belleair Beach, FL, was accused in an information (a charging document that substitutes for a grand jury indictment) of conspiring to pay kickbacks for “leads,” which as it turns out were not actually “leads” at all. The so-called “leads” were signed orders from nurse practitioners and doctors, which were then submitted to Medicare Part B and Medicare Part C for payment through Wolfe’s DME Georgia based company, Wilmington Island Medical Inc. Reading the information lays out how the scheme operated.
Apparently, the feds have been on to Wolfe for a while. In fact, Wolfe is the 25th defendant who has been charged in a far reaching telemedicine conspiracy arising out of “Operation Brace Yourself” and “Operation Double Helix” as part of the largest Medicare fraud ever prosecuted in the Southern District of Georgia. As is so often the case, I would say that other defendants looking to cut a deal with prosecutors in hopes of lessening their sentence by way of earning a §5k1.1 motion for downward departure or a Rule 35 motion reduction of sentence probably fingered Wolfe as someone who was paying kickbacks for bogus leads.