Tampa Man Sentenced to 20-Plus Years for Health-Care Fraud
He had been convicted in connection with a Tricare health care fraud scheme, for receiving kickbacks and money laundering.
TAMPA – A federal judge has sentenced a Tampa man to 262 months in prison and and ordered him to pay $18 million restitution for his part in a health-care fraud scheme.
On Feb. 5, a federal jury in Miami convicted Monty Ray Grow, 46, of 18 criminal charges, including: conspiracy to commit health care fraud; conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks; unlawful receipt of health care kickbacks); and money laundering.
Federal prosecutors said that evidence presented at trial established that during an eight-month period in 2014-15, Grow took part in a scheme to defraud the Tricare program out of 10s of millions of dollars. Tricare is the health care program for the U.S. military that pays the health-care costs of active and retired military personnel and their families. That insurance benefit includes paying for any medications that a Tricare beneficiary needs.
Grow enticed Tricare beneficiaries to order very expensive drugs that they did not need. Tricare, not the patients, paid the bill for these expensive drugs and the pharmacy split 50 percent of the profits with Grow. Evidence at trial established that Grow targeted Tricare beneficiaries and induced them to order expensive drugs they did not need by paying them either directly for their own prescriptions or indirectly for those of their family and friends. As a result of the fraudulent scheme, Grow received nearly $20 million in kickbacks from a Broward County pharmacy.
Grow fraudulently inflated the price the pharmacy would bill to Tricare by manipulating the formulations and selling ingredients to the pharmacy that were artificially engineered in order to maximize profits. Prosecutors said Grow also paid telemedicine companies whose doctors ratified prescriptions the defendant pre-selected, while knowing that doctors never examined a single patient. Finally, Grow laundered the criminal proceeds of his scheme through the purchase of luxury items.
To date, at least eight additional co-conspirators have pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges arising out of Grow’s fraud scheme, including Ginger Lay, 40, of Atlanta, Georgia; Paul Robinson, 40, of Ormond Beach, Florida; Deanna Dutting, 40, of Ormond Beach, Florida, Raymond Bear, 46, of Flemming Island, Florida; Robin Halliburton, 45 of Ponte Vedra, Florida; Michael Shane Matthews, 47, of Newberry, Florida, Michael Bowman, 43, of Jacksonville, Florida, and Sven Bjerke, 39, of Jacksonville, Florida. These individuals have collectively remitted property back to the United States valued in the approximate amount of $4 million.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at flsd.uscourts.gov.
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