Three Marketers Plead Guilty to Violations of Federal Anti-Kickback Statutes
Three marketers have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to offering or paying illegal kickbacks to physicians in relation to the government health care insurance programs Medicare, TRICARE, and the FECA Program, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores
Daniel Richard Ferguson, 47, of Broken Arrow; John Richard Frohrip, 52, of Tulsa; and Kevin Ellis Partin, 49, of Bixby, were charged this month in three separate Informations with offering or paying health care kickbacks. The men caused federal health care insurance programs to pay reimbursement costs for expensive compounding drug prescriptions written by recruited doctors in return for kickback payments. The defendants would then use the reimbursed funds for their own financial gain.
“Kickback schemes undermine the integrity of government healthcare programs and raise healthcare costs for Americans. These greed fueled schemes frustrate patient-oriented decision-making because doctors make prescription and pharmacy decisions based on their personal financial enrichment,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “Professionals in the healthcare market in northern Oklahoma should be on notice by now that kickback schemes will be exposed and those involved held accountable.”
In their plea agreements, the men acknowledged offering to pay kickbacks to physicians and that on March 30, 2015, they allegedly paid a physician, Dr. John Main, of Tulsa, a $15,000 check payment from an account controlled by Brookhaven Specialty Pharmacy, LLC, which constituted a kickback in return for the physician referring patients to Brookhaven for compounding prescriptions that would be reimbursed by the federal health care program Tricare.
Violating the anti-kickback statute carries up to five years in prison and a $250,000 possible fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melody N. Nelson and Richard M. Cella are prosecuting the cases. The IRS- Criminal Investigation; U.S. Postal Service- Office of Inspector General (OIG); Department of Veterans Affairs- OIG; FBI; Department of Health and Human Services- OIG; Defense Criminal Investigative Service; and Department of Labor- OIG conducted the investigation.