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Press Release

National Health Care Fraud Enforcement Action Results in 193 Defendants Charged and Over $2.75 Billion in False Claims

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana
One Defendant Charged in the District of Montana

BILLINGS — Today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich, for the District of Montana, announced criminal charges against a Whitefish physician in connection with alleged schemes to defraud Medicare and other government health program. The charges filed in federal court are part of the Justice Department’s 2024 National Health Care Fraud Enforcement Action. The charges stem from fraudulently charging Medicare and other government health programs for telemedicine office visits that did not occur.

“It does not matter if you are a trafficker in a drug cartel or a corporate executive or medical professional employed by a health care company, if you profit from the unlawful distribution of controlled substances, you will be held accountable,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department will bring to justice criminals who defraud Americans, steal from taxpayer-funded programs, and put people in danger for the sake of profits.”

“As alleged, the defendant, Ronald David Dean, falsely billed Medicare and other health programs so he could enrich himself by diverting government health care funds meant to help elderly and disabled persons. Specifically, we allege he billed for telemedicine visits that did not occur and signed orders for durable medical equipment and covid-19 tests patients did not need, all of which resulted in over $39 million in false billing. As this action shows, we are committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting those who try to defraud our health care programs,” U.S. Attorney Laslovich said.

An information charging Dean, along with a plea agreement, was filed on June 24. An arraignment and plea hearing are scheduled for July 17 in U.S. District Court in Missoula.

The charges announced today by U.S. Attorney Laslovich are part of a strategically coordinated, two-week nationwide law enforcement action that resulted in criminal charges against 193 defendants for their alleged participation in health care fraud and opioid abuse schemes that resulted in the submission of over $2.75 billion in alleged false billings. The defendants allegedly defrauded programs entrusted for the care of the elderly and disabled to line their own pockets, and the Government, in connection with the enforcement action, seized over $231 million in cash, luxury vehicles, gold, and other assets.

The Health Care Fraud Unit’s National Rapid Response, Florida, Gulf Coast, Los Angeles, Midwest, Northeast, and Texas Strike Forces; U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Southern District of Alabama, District of Arizona, Central District of California, Northern District of California, Southern District of California, District of Connecticut, Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Kentucky, Western District to Kentucky, Eastern District of Louisiana, Middle District of Louisiana, Western District of Louisiana, Eastern District of Michigan, Western District of Michigan, Southern District of Mississippi, District of Montana, District of New Jersey, Eastern District of New York, Eastern District of North Carolina, Western District of Oklahoma, District of Rhode Island, Eastern District of Tennessee, Middle District of Tennessee, Eastern District of Texas, Northern District of Texas, Southern District of Texas, Eastern District of Virginia, Western District of Virginia, Southern District of West Virginia, and Eastern District of Wisconsin; and State Attorney Generals’ Offices for Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, and South Dakota are prosecuting the cases in the National Enforcement Action, with assistance from the Health Care Fraud Unit’s Data Analytics Team. Descriptions of each case involved in today’s enforcement action are available on the Department’s website here.

The District of Montana, in particular, worked with the Department’s Criminal Division and the following law enforcement organizations to investigate and prosecute the cases filed during the enforcement period: the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) and Railroad Retirement Board Office of Inspector General.

“We will not tolerate fraud that preys on patients who need and deserve high quality health care,” said the Honorable Christi A. Grimm, the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “The hard work of the HHS-OIG team and our outstanding law enforcement partners makes today’s action possible.  We must protect taxpayer dollars and keep Americans safe from harms to their health, privacy, and financial well-being.”

“The defendant’s agreement to plead guilty will hold him accountable for his fraudulent actions and reflects the magnitude of the crime committed against CHAMPVA and Medicare,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Molly King of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s Northwest Field Office.  “The VA OIG’s continued oversight of VA’s multiple healthcare programs is one of the agency’s highest priorities. We thank our law enforcement partners for their efforts in this joint investigation.”

The following individual has been charged in the District of Montana:

Ronald David Dean, 64, of Whitefish, Montana, a licensed physician, was charged by information with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a telemedicine scheme.  As alleged in the information, Dean was paid by a telemedicine company to sign orders for durable medical equipment that patients did not need.  Dean then fraudulently charged Medicare and other government health programs for telemedicine office visits that did not occur.  The telemedicine company also used Dean’s information to prescribe unneeded and unnecessary covid tests to patients.  In total, Dean’s order resulted in false billing to government health care programs of over $39 million.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana is prosecuting the case.

A complaint, information, or indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated June 27, 2024

Health Care Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-167