In a notable case of wrongdoing, the operator of two durable medical equipment companies has confessed to his involvement in an $11 million kickback scheme. The Texas man, Simon Orobor, pleaded guilty to conspiracy for his role in paying illegal kickbacks, resulting in over $20 million in claims and $11 million in payments from Medicare. The U.S. Attorney, Ryan K. Buchanan, emphasized the importance of prosecuting those who exploit Medicare for personal gain. The FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General expressed their commitment to preventing illegal financial relationships that undermine the integrity of public healthcare programs. Sentencing is scheduled for February 15, 2024.
Operator admits role in $11 million dollar kickback scheme
The recent admission by the operator of two durable medical equipment companies that he played a role in an $11 million dollar kickback scheme has sent shockwaves through the healthcare industry. This case highlights the need for increased vigilance in preventing financial relationships that compromise the integrity of public healthcare programs like Medicare. The impact on both Medicare and patients is significant, and it is essential to understand the hidden costs and potential consequences of such schemes.
In this case, Simon Orobor, a Texas man and the owner of Devotion Medical Supply, Inc. and Durable Medical Supply, Inc., has pleaded guilty to conspiracy for his involvement in a kickback scheme. This scheme resulted in over $20 million in claims being submitted to Medicare and $11 million in payments made by Medicare. Orobor’s actions jeopardized the trust and security of the Medicare program, which exists to assist the most vulnerable citizens.
Between June 2016 and February 2019, Orobor operated Devotion Medical Supply, Inc. and Durable Medical Supply, Inc., providing durable medical equipment to patients. Orobor, through another entity called Digital Interventions, LLC, paid kickbacks to Individual 1 and Company 1 in exchange for signed doctors’ orders for braces. These kickbacks were disguised as marketing expenses, and fraudulent invoices were generated to hide the nature and source of the payments.
In total, Orobor used the doctors’ orders obtained through kickbacks to submit approximately $20,555,772 in claims to Medicare and received approximately $11,447,961 in reimbursement from Medicare. Orobor’s role in this kickback scheme has serious legal and ethical consequences, with sentencing scheduled for February 15, 2024.
Statement by U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan
U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan emphasized the importance of prosecuting those who exploit the Medicare program for personal profit at the expense of patients and taxpayers. Medicare is a vital safety net for our most vulnerable citizens, and any attempt to defraud or abuse the system undermines its integrity. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to prioritize cases like this to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.
Impact on Medicare and Patients
The fraudulent actions of operators like Simon Orobor have significant consequences for Medicare and its beneficiaries. Medicare is a vital program that provides healthcare coverage to millions of Americans, particularly the elderly and disabled. When individuals exploit the system for personal gain, it leads to increased costs for all beneficiaries and compromises the effectiveness of the program.
Additionally, patients who rely on Medicare for their healthcare needs may be affected by these kickback schemes. Medical decision-making can be compromised when healthcare companies prioritize profit over the best interests of patients. This is why it is crucial to investigate and prosecute these crimes to protect the integrity of the Medicare program and ensure that patients receive the care they need without interference from illegal activities.
FBI’s Commitment to Prevent Financial Relationships
Assistant Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, Sean Burke, expressed the FBI’s commitment to preventing illegal financial relationships that undermine the integrity of public healthcare programs. When healthcare companies engage in kickback arrangements to boost their profits, it compromises the medical system and increases healthcare costs for everyone. The FBI will continue to investigate and prosecute these types of fraud to protect the integrity of public healthcare programs and ensure the well-being of patients.
Hidden Costs and Medical Decision-Making
The impact of kickback schemes goes beyond financial costs. Kickbacks impose hidden costs on the healthcare system and can compromise medical decision-making. When financial incentives are involved, the focus of healthcare providers may shift from providing the best care to patients to pursuing profit. This can lead to unnecessary medical procedures, overprescribing of medications, and other harmful outcomes for patients.
Statement by Tamala Miles, Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General
Tamala Miles, Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, stated that kickbacks impose hidden costs on the healthcare system and compromise medical decision-making. The Department of Health and Human Services is dedicated to working tirelessly with law enforcement partners to combat the waste of taxpayer dollars and protect the integrity of federal healthcare programs. It is essential to hold individuals accountable for their role in these fraudulent schemes to ensure the well-being of patients and the effective functioning of healthcare programs.
The admission by the operator of durable medical equipment companies of his role in an $11 million dollar kickback scheme serves as a reminder of the importance of vigilance in preventing financial relationships that undermine the integrity of public healthcare programs. The impact on Medicare and patients is significant, with increased costs and compromised medical decision-making. The FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services remain committed to preventing and prosecuting these crimes to protect the integrity of healthcare programs and ensure that patients receive the care they need. It is crucial for individuals to be held accountable for their actions to maintain public trust in the healthcare system and ensure the well-being of patients.