Three owners and operators of four orthotic brace suppliers were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States and for offering and paying illegal kickbacks. The three defendants face up to 55 years in prison each for their roles in this $6.5 million healthcare fraud scheme. While the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division’s Fraud Section uncovered this scheme, a whistleblower could have reported this kickback arrangement. Whistleblowers who report healthcare fraud against the government may receive 5-15% of the government’s recovery.
These Texas and Arkansas-based orthotic brace suppliers created a kickback scheme where they paid doctors to prescribe unnecessary durable medical equipment (DME) to Medicare beneficiaries. According to the evidence presented at trial, the orthotic brace suppliers billed approximately $12.5 million in false claims to Medicare, and the government-funded healthcare program paid the defendants approximately $6.5 million for those claims. The orthotic brace suppliers allegedly concealed the kickback payments to providers by calling them marketing expenses.