“Wolf of Wall Street” Medical Supply Firm Raided in South Florida
In the latest case of Florida healthcare companies being targeted by federal investigators, FBI agents recently raided a Boca Raton medical supply company with ties to the men in “The Wolf of Wall Street” as part of an ongoing health care fraud investigation.
The agents raided the offices of Med-Care Diabetic and Medical Supply Inc., seeking various documents, computers, and other evidence. While the exact nature of the raid is unclear, Med-Care has been accused of Medicare fraud in a false claims lawsuit filed by a former employee. Agents also took files and computers from LMC Medical Supplies – a related company that shares executives with Med-Care.
The Movie Connection
Med-Care Diabetic and Medical Supply Inc. is a medical and pharmaceutical supply company that offers supplies to individuals insured via private insurance or Medicare. The company home delivers the supplies and claims to do so without requiring a contract. Instead, it works directly with the individual’s insurance company for payment and with the individual’s physician for prescription renewals. This includes orthotics and diabetic products such as insulin pumps, testing strips, and glucose meters.
Daniel Porush is one of Med-Care’s top executives. In the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” he is the inspiration for Donnie Azoff (the character played by Jonah Hill), and like his former business partner Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), he served prison time for various telemarketing and investment fraud operations. Porush’s wife is one of the executives of LMC Medical Supplies, the other firm targeted in the raid.
The lawsuit implicating the company in Medicare fraud was filed by Tiffany Bumbury, a former employee of East End Associates, an affiliated company. The lawsuit alleges that Med-Care operates call centers in Florida and New York as part of a scheme to get paid by insurers and Medicare through aggressive and misleading tactics. Bumbury alleges that the company’s telemarketers were instructed to say whatever needed to be said to induce the client to provide them with billing and insurance information, and also to buy supplies. The lawsuit alleges the employees at the call centers would contact Medicare beneficiaries to push medical equipment they didn’t need, did not request, or was not in the scope of their medical treatment. The alleged result was significant charges being billed to the federal Medicare program, even in cases where billed equipment never made it to the customer. From 2009 to 2012, Medicare paid over $84 million to Med-Care. Because of the allegations of defrauding a federal program, the case has been joined by the U.S. government – which explains the FBI’s involvement.
What is Medicare Fraud?
Medicare fraud occurs when parties collect Medicare health reimbursements (i.e. federal money) illegitimately. This typically occurs through various forms of fraudulent billing, such as “phantom billing,” which occurs when medical or health care providers (such as a medical supply provider) bill Medicare for unnecessary or non-existent procedures, tests, or equipment. Patients can also be involved in the fraudulent activity when they knowingly provide their Medicare numbers in exchange for money or services.
To fight Medicare fraud, the federal government has set aside money through the Affordable Care Act, and has created a Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT). HEAT is a joint effort between the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services. Together, they are working with state officials, in Florida and elsewhere, to identify fraudulent actors and prosecute them under a multitude of federal statutes.
As Florida continues to be ground zero for various health care, Medicare, and financial fraud schemes, companies and executives will continue to be under the relentless magnifying glasses of federal and state investigators. It is important to find experienced counsel who can prepare you in the event of a possible investigation.
Let Me Defend You Today
Do you need help in a healthcare fraud case? Are you looking for a skilled attorney who can help defend you in federal or Florida state court?
If you think you need legal representation, you do. Please contact Attorney Tony Moss at the Tony Moss Firm, L.L.C. to discuss any defense matters. He has locations in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and is prepared to put his skills and expertise to work for you.