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Press Release

Man Sentenced for $87M Healthcare Fraud Kickback Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

An owner of a durable medical equipment (DME) company was sentenced yesterday to three and a half years in prison and ordered to forfeit $1.8 million for his participation in a healthcare fraud kickback conspiracy.  

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Mark Sorensen, 53, of Chicago, owned Symed Inc. (Symed), a Chicago DME pharmacy that paid illegal kickbacks to obtain patients to bill to Medicare, TRICARE, and the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. Between 2015 and 2018, Sorensen illegally bought patient leads from Bernie Perconti, who in turn obtained the leads from others, including Craig O’Neil and Christine Anderson. Sorensen and his co-conspirators also tricked patients into agreeing to receive braces. Many times, patients received braces that they did not need or want, and sometimes received four, five, or six braces. The co-conspirators also repeatedly called and faxed doctors to get them to sign the prescriptions authorizing the braces. In total, Sorensen and his co-conspirators, through Symed, fraudulently billed Medicare $87 million and received $23.6 million.

Perconti, O’Neil, and Anderson each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks in October 2019, July 2020, and January 2021, respectively. Perconti and O’Neil are scheduled to be sentenced at a later date. Anderson was sentenced in April 2022.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Robert W. Wheeler Jr. of the FBI Chicago Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Mario Pinto for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); Special Agent in Charge Irene Lindow for the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG); and Special Agent in Charge Darrin K. Jones of the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Southeast Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI, HHS-OIG, DOL-OIG, and DCIS are investigating the cases. 

Assistant Chief Leslie S. Garthwaite and Trial Attorney Jeffrey Crapko of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.   

Updated March 27, 2024

Health Care Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-360