Doctor Pleads Guilty To Unlawful Drug Distribution, False Statement To Medicare, And Paycheck Protection Program Fraud
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge William Jung has sentenced Dr. Richard Davidson (Delray Beach, 42) to six years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. As part of his sentence, the court ordered Davidson to forfeit approximately $650,000 in funds traceable to the offense or as substitute assets. The court also entered a money judgment of $2.47 million and ordered $10.72 million in restitution. Davidson lost his medical license due to his conviction.
Davidson had pleaded guilty on September 16, 2020.
According to court documents, in 2018, Davidson and his conspirators established a conglomerate of durable medical equipment (“DME”) supply companies. During the creation of the companies, they lied to Medicare to secure billing privileges. The scheme involved placing the companies in the names of straw owners. By concealing the companies’ true ownership, the conspirators secretly gained control of multiple companies. This enabled the conspirators to submit high volumes of illegal DME claims while attempting to evade law enforcement scrutiny. In one year, through the conglomerate, Davidson and his conspirators submitted more than $20 million in illegal DME claims, resulting in more than $10 million in payments from Medicare and the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (“CHAMPVA”).
To attain such high volumes of claims, the conspirators used bribes and kickbacks. Specifically, Davidson and his conspirators illegally purchased thousands of DME claims from so-called “marketers.” The marketers, for their part, had generated the claims under the guise of “telemedicine,” but no telemedicine had actually occurred. Instead, the “marketers” had bribed doctors to sign the DME brace orders that supported the claims. Davidson and his conspirators paid millions to secure the illegal DME claims for submission to Medicare and CHAMPVA.
“It’s sickening to see a member of the medical community profiting from a scheme that’s cheating the nation’s federally funded healthcare program. The FBI and its law enforcement partners will continue to expose the greed and deceit taking precedence over patient care,” said FBI Tampa Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson.
“CHAMPVA ensures that family members of service-connected disabled veterans receive quality health care services,” stated David Spilker, Special Agent in Charge at the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (VA OIG). “This sentence holds the defendant accountable for his criminal actions to defraud both CHAMPVA and the Medicare program and reflects the magnitude of his multi-million dollar health care fraud scheme. The VA OIG thanks our law enforcement partners for their collaboration in this important investigation.”
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Tampa Field Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kristen A. Fiore and James A. Muench.