Patient Recruiter Sentenced to Prison for Role in More than $1 Million Illegal Kickback Conspiracy
A patient recruiter was sentenced to 60 months in prison yesterday for receiving more than $1 million in illegal kickback payments from numerous home health agencies from around the country in exchange for providing information on Medicare beneficiaries to home health agencies, who then used that information to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge Steven M. D'Antuono of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.
Dominic Trumbo, 45, of Lexington, Kentucky, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood of the Eastern District of Michigan, who also ordered Trumbo to pay $1,010,552 in restitution and forfeit $203,300. In July 2019, after a four-day trial, a federal jury found Trumbo guilty of one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks and three counts of solicitation or receipt of kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Trumbo, owner of Trumbo Consulting Agency of Stafford, Virginia, recruited, or paid others to recruit, more than 4,000 Medicare beneficiaries for multiple home health companies across the country. The evidence showed that Trumbo instructed his employees to cold call Medicare beneficiaries and offer incentives to induce them to sign up for home health care. Trumbo then sold the Medicare beneficiary information to home health agencies in exchange for illegal kickback payments. The evidence at trial further showed that Trumbo and his co-conspirators created sham contracts and fake invoices in an attempt to conceal their scheme to defraud Medicare.
The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. Trial Attorneys Patrick Suter and Steven Scott of the Fraud Section prosecuted the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for nearly $19 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.