Four People Indicted in International Telemedicine Health Care Fraud Kickback Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey
NEWARK, N.J. – Four people, including a licensed physician, have been charged for their roles in an international telemedicine health care fraud and kickback scheme involving compound medications and durable medical equipment, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
David Woroboff, 59, of Del Rey, California; George Willard, 53, of Brooklyn, Michigan; Randall Mills, 61, of Plano, Texas; and Dr. Le Thu, 66, of South Bridge, Massachusetts, are each charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to violate the federal Anti-Kickback Statute.
According to the indictment:
Woroboff, Willard, and Mills were high-level employees of a telemedicine company. Beginning in May 2014, the defendants and their conspirators began to use the telemedicine company to generate a high volume of prescriptions for compounded medications and, later, durable medical equipment (DME), without regard to medical necessity and through the payment of kickbacks. The defendants agreed and arranged for health care providers associated with the telemedicine company to write prescriptions for compounded medications and DME without the establishment of any provider-patient relationship, in exchange for kickbacks, and in violation of certain state telemedicine laws. Woroboff, Willard, and Mills agreed to pay Thu approximately $35 per prescription. Thu wrote prescriptions without speaking to patients in exchange for those payments.
In order to encourage providers to write prescriptions without establishing a provider-patient relationship, Woroboff and Mills falsely informed providers that “nurses” had already consulted with the patients, taken their medical histories, and determined that compounded medication or DME was medically appropriate. In reality, the “nurses” were located in the Philippines, were not registered to practice medicine in the United States, and generally had not spoken with the patients. Rather, representatives of marketing companies provided patient information to the telemedicine company and paid the telemedicine company to generate prescriptions for compounded medications and DME. Woroboff and Willard also took additional steps to conceal their scheme, including the use of fake phone numbers and addresses for the health care providers.
The defendants caused losses to TRICARE, Medicare, and private health insurance companies of approximately $37 million.
The charge of conspiracy to commit health care fraud is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison. The charge of conspiracy to violate the federal Anti-Kickback Statute is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000, or twice the gross profit or loss caused by the offense, whichever is greatest.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Tennessee, under the direction of Acting U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin; special agents of the Office of the Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty; special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, in Birmingham, Alabama; special agents of the U.S Office of Personnel Management, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Amy Parker; special agents of the U.S Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Rafiq Ahmad; investigators of the U.S. Department of Labor-Employee Benefits Security Administration, under the direction of Regional Director Isabel Culver; and special agents of the Tennessee Valley Authority, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Meagan Sands, with the investigation leading to the indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean M. Sherman and Emma Spiro of the Opioid Abuse Prevention & Enforcement Unit.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Updated April 19, 2023
Health Care Fraud