Former Army Staff Sergeant Sentenced In Illegal Kickbacks Scheme
Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. has sentenced Cordera Hill (27, Tampa) to 24 months in federal prison for conspiracy and offering to pay and paying illegal kickbacks in connection with a federal health care benefit program. The Court also ordered Hill to forfeit more than $43,830.70, the proceeds traceable to his criminal conduct.
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 $43,830.70 in commission payments from Centurion for referring TRICARE beneficiaries to doctors to obtain the creams. TRICARE paid out $728,909.82 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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mandy Riedel, Megan Kistler, Charles D. Schmitz, Simon Eth, and Rachelle DesVaux Bedke.