Citrus County Man Pleads Guilty To Receiving Stolen Benefit Payments From The Department Of Veterans Affairs
Tampa, FL – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces that a federal jury today found Cordera Hill (27, Tampa) guilty of one count of conspiracy and two counts of offering to pay and paying illegal kickbacks in connection with a federal health care benefit program. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on each count. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to evidence presented at trial, in October 2014, Hill, a former member of the United States Army, agreed to become a sales representative for Centurion Compounding, Inc., a marketing firm in Wesley Chapel that utilized sales representatives as independent contractors to market compounded medications, including creams for pain and scars, to TRICARE beneficiaries. These creams had very high reimbursement rates, ranging from approximately $4,000 to $17,000 for a one-month supply. Centurion focused its promotional efforts on TRICARE beneficiaries because they knew TRICARE would pay claims for these compounded creams.
Hill paid, and conspired to pay, TRICARE beneficiaries to go to clinics at, among other places, a cosmetics store in a strip mall. Hill also paid for beneficiaries to fly to Tampa from Colorado and Hawaii for the purpose of visiting clinics to obtain compounding creams. The beneficiaries, who had access to free healthcare on base, would visit the cosmetics store after hours and on weekends to obtain prescriptions. Many of the beneficiaries did not need the creams and discarded them in the trash. Hill received in excess of $43,000 in commission payments from Centurion for referring TRICARE beneficiaries to doctors to obtain the creams. TRICARE paid out over $700,000 for claims submitted on behalf of patients that Hill had recruited.
This case was investigated by the Department of Defense, Criminal Investigative Service; the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command, Major Procurement Fraud Unit; the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mandy Riedel, Charles D. Schmitz, Simon Eth, and Rachelle DesVaux Bedke.