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Seven Things To Know When You Receive A Notice Of Investigation From The Department Of Health

Florida Man Guilty in $36.2M Telemedicine Fraud

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On March 20th, 2024, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in the Middle District of Florida, announced that a Florida man pled guilty to conspiring to commit health care fraud in a $36.2 million telemedicine fraud scheme. As part of the scheme, the Fort Lauderdale-based pharmacy owner paid kickbacks and bribes to telemarketers and telemedicine providers for medically unnecessary prescriptions that were billed to Medicare.

Kickbacks & Bribes to Telemarketing Companies.

According to the plea agreement, the Fort Lauderdale-based, Florida man and his co-conspirators owned and operated pharmacies participating in the Medicare program. From September 2018 through November 2021, they paid kickbacks and bribes to telemarketing companies in exchange for recruiting Medicare beneficiaries to accept prescriptions for various medications that the patients did not want or need. The Florida man also owned and operated a telemarketing company, according to court documents. This allowed him to receive kickbacks from the pharmacies in exchange for the beneficiary (patient) leads he provided to them, the DOJ said.

But wait, there’s more!

The Role of the Telemedicine Companies.

The pharmacy owner and his co-conspirators also paid kickbacks and bribes to telemedicine companies that employed or contracted with physicians who signed the prescriptions. The physicians had no physician-patient relationship and often signed the prescriptions after only a brief telephone conversation or without any contact at all. The defendant and co-conspirators then submitted claims to Medicare, sometimes through multiple pharmacies they owned and controlled. As a result, Medicare Part D reimbursed them more than $36.2 million.

He faces up to ten years in federal prison and has agreed to forfeit $6,341,240.58 to cover the proceeds he made during the scheme. He also agreed to forfeit four pieces of real estate property, two jet skis, and numerous watches and pieces of jewelry. That last 58 cents in forfeitures is going to be the hardest to part with.

To read the press release from the DOJ, click here.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Health Care Fraud and Representing Pharmacies and Pharmacists.

The Health Law Firm represents pharmacists, pharmacies and physicians in DEA, DOH, and FDA investigations, qui tam and whistleblower cases, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, administrative hearings, inspections, and audits. The firm’s attorneys include those who are board-certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law, as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, call (407) 331-6620 or toll-free (888) 331-6620 and visit our website at


DOJ. (March 20, 2024). “Fort Lauderdale man pleads guilty to $36.2 million medicare fraud scheme.” United States Attorney’s Office Middle District of Florida. Retrieved from,prescriptions%20that%20were%20billed%20to

Health Law Weekly. (March 22, 2024). “Pharmacy operator pleads guilty to $36.2 million medicare fraud scheme.” American Health Law Association. Retrieved from

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Suite 1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free: (888) 331-6620.

Current Open Positions with The Health Law Firm. The Health Law Firm always seeks qualified individuals interested in health law. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. If you are a current member of The Florida Bar or a qualified professional who is interested, please forward a cover letter and resume to: [email protected] or fax them to (407) 331-3030.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.

Copyright © 2024 George F. Indest III, The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any way in any medium without the written permission of the copyright owner. The author of this work reserves the right to have his name associated with any use or publication of this work or any part of it.

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M.

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M.

Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

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