Athens Owner of Hearing Aid Practice Charged with Health Care Fraud
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – An Athens-based businessman has been charged with health care fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr., and TVA-OIG Special Agent in Charge Meagan Sands.
An information filed today in U.S. District Court charges Joshua D. Creasy, 44, of Athens, Alabama, with fifteen counts of health care fraud. Creasy operated One Love Hearing Concepts, a practice with multiple storefront locations that provided hearing aids and other hearing solutions. According to the information, Creasy schemed to defraud insurers into paying for medically unnecessary hearing aids. For example, Creasy provided free products to induce beneficiaries to allow One Love to bill their insurance for hearing aids. He also billed insurance for hearing aids that beneficiaries never received. In some cases insurance was billed for hearing aids for individuals who never visited a One Love location, or for individuals who came in but said they did not want or need the hearing aids.
Creasy has agreed to plead guilty to the charges. A change-of-plea hearing has not yet been scheduled. In a plea agreement also filed today, Creasy stipulated that he will pay forfeiture of $1,000,000 and pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $1,500,000.
The maximum penalty for each count of health care fraud is ten years in prison.
The FBI and TVA-OIG investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney J.B. Ward is prosecuting it.
An information contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.