Tampa Man Pleads Guilty To Paying Health Care Kickbacks
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Anthonio Miller (26, Tampa) today pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pay kickbacks in connection with a federal health care benefit program. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
According to the plea agreement, Miller was an active duty petty officer with the U.S. Navy stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. Beginning in October 2014, he became a sales representative for Centurion Compounding Inc., Centurion, a marketing firm located in Wesley Chapel, utilized sales representatives as independent contractors to market compounded medications, specifically creams for pain and scars, to health care benefit program beneficiaries. Centurion focused its promotional efforts on TRICARE beneficiaries based upon an understanding and belief that TRICARE would pay claims for these compounded creams.
Miller was initially recruited into the Centurion scheme by other active-duty military members, including his co-defendant Cordera Hill, to be a patient and to obtain compounded creams marketed by Centurion. On October 22, 2014, Miller received a prescription from a doctor for pain cream and scar cream. He went on to obtain additional prescriptions in his own name, for which TRICARE paid approximately $60,673.06.
Miller agreed and conspired with other members of his Centurion sales marketing group, self-labeled “team cream,” to give and offer to give TRICARE beneficiaries incentives, such as cash, meals, entertainment, and travel expenses, to visit a doctor and obtain prescriptions for Centurion-marketed compounded creams for which Miller and other “team cream” members would receive commissions. Between October 2014 and February 2015, Miller caused approximately $655,611 in claims to be submitted to TRICARE, resulting in the payments of $558,090.04 for prescriptions, from which Centurion and Miller received commissions. Miller received commissions from Centurion totaling approximately $19,977.53 and, at the time Centurion was shut down in February 2015, Miller was owed an additional $34,999.25 in commissions from Centurion.
This case was investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mandy Riedel and Megan Kistler.