Man Faces $70M Medicare Fraud Scheme Charges

A Mississippi man has been charged with multiple offenses relating to $70 million Medicare fraud by the Justice Department.

An indictment was unsealed in Tampa last week for Joel Rufus French, 46, who appeared when summoned in Oxford, Mississippi. The FBI Tampa Field Office and HHS-OIG are investigating the case.

Man charged with millions of dollars of fraud

French allegedly used bribes to obtain doctors’ orders to obtain unnecessary amounts of durable medical equipment (DME). The accused had also created a network of co-conspirators who received bribes and kickbacks in an elaborate scheme involving orthotic braces.

Initial court documents highlighted that French did not disclose his status or role whilst running multiple DME companies to Medicare. French would then use the fraudulently obtained doctors’ orders to allegedly charge Medicare for reimbursement to the tune of $70 million.

The release by the Department of Justice said the charges against French include “conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive illegal health care kickbacks, conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.”

Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program of the Justice Department is composed of “of nine strike forces operating in 27 federal districts, has charged more than 5,400 defendants who collectively have billed federal health care programs and private insurers more than $27 billion.”

If French is convicted of these crimes he could face maximum penalties of twenty and five years respectively for each of the charges levied against him.

This would be one of three medical fraud cases that the Justice Department recorded this week. A New Jersey Doctor was sentenced for illegally distributing oxycodone and two other Doctors were sentenced for their part in a fraudulent drug testing scheme.

Image: Ideogram.


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