Pinellas County Doctor Arrested And Charged With Multiple Offenses Related To Writing Prescriptions For Compounded Medications
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Dr. Anthony Baldizzi (52, Tierra Verde) with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, twenty-one counts of health care fraud, one count of money laundering, one count of making a false statement, and one count of receiving illegal kickbacks. The health care fraud and money laundering counts each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The remaining counts each carry a maximum penalty of five years. The indictment also notifies Baldizzi that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of at least $5.3 million as proceeds of the conspiracy and health care fraud offenses and forfeiture of a 2015 BMW M3, which is alleged as property traceable to proceeds of the charged conduct.
According to the indictment, Baldizzi is a licensed medical doctor who practices at an urgent care clinic in Pinellas County. In or around 2014, he entered into an agreement with the owners and operators of Lifecare Compounding Pharmacy to receive kickbacks for each prescription he wrote and directed to Lifecare for filling. Later, the principals of Lifecare introduced Baldizzi to the principals of Centurion Compounding, a marketing firm, and these parties entered into another kickback relationship whereby Baldizzi agreed to become a Centurion “in-network” doctor and write prescriptions for compounded creams marketed by Centurion and filled at Lifecare. In exchange, the principals of Lifecare and Centurion jointly paid Baldizzi a kickback of each paid claim, equal to approximately 10% of the after-cost amount of the payment. Many of these prescriptions were written for beneficiaries of TRICARE, a federal health care benefit program. Lifecare submitted to TRICARE claims for prescriptions written by Baldizzi, pursuant to their illegal kickback agreement, totaling approximately $5.3 million. Lifecare also submitted to Medicare claims for prescriptions written by Baldizzi, pursuant to their illegal kickback agreement, totaling approximately $71,312.41.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mandy Riedel and Megan Kistler.