Georgia Defendants Indicted on Federal Charges for Massive Alleged Healthcare Fraud Scheme

 

Federal officials have indicted certain South Georgia medical professionals for the alleged illegal distribution of opioids and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

This, according to a press release that officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia published Friday.

The indictment alleges that the charged physician, nurse practitioner, and physician assistant operated a nominal pain clinic that distributed opioids with no legitimate medical purpose. The press release did not identify them by name.

The press release said this was part of “a strategically coordinated, six-week nationwide federal law enforcement action.”

This action, the press release said, has resulted in criminal charges against 138 defendants, including 42 doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals, in 31 federal districts across the United States. This, for their alleged participation in various healthcare fraud schemes for more than $1.4 billion in alleged losses.

“The enforcement action includes criminal charges against six defendants here in the Southern District of Georgia. The charges announced involve some defendants accused of committing a kickback conspiracy involving cancer genomic testing claims, and other defendants accused of illegal distribution of opioids. The Southern District of Georgia’s announced charges account for more than $50 million in collective billings to federal health benefit programs,” the press release said.

“Nationwide, the charges target approximately $1.1 billion in fraud committed using telemedicine, more than $29 million in COVID-19 health care fraud, more than $133 million connected to substance abuse treatment facilities, or ‘sober homes,’ and more than $160 million connected to other health care fraud and illegal opioid distribution schemes across the country.”

In June, federal officials said two Georgia residents in two separate cases allegedly committed massive Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act fraud while another Georgia resident admitted in federal court to committing such fraud.

In the first case, federal officials took two Columbus residents into custody after a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging them both with wire fraud and theft of government property related to the CARES Act.

Officials charged Curtis Porch, 48, and Dereen Porch, 43, with three counts of wire fraud and one count of theft of government property. If convicted, the two defendants face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for wire theft and a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for theft of government property.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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