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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 6, 2018

East Mountain Family Practice Doctor Pays $300,000 to Resolve Alleged False Claims to Federal Healthcare Programs for Services Rendered While Out of Country

Settlement also Resolves Alleged Violations of Controlled Substances Act Relating to Signed, but Otherwise Blank, Prescriptions Available for Use While Out of the Country

ALBUQUERQUE – Orrin K. McLeod, D.O., a family practitioner licensed to practice medicine in the state of New Mexico, has paid $300,000 to resolve allegations under the civil False Claims Act that he submitted, or caused to be submitted, claims for payment for services and prescriptions under federal healthcare programs while he was out of the country.  The $300,000 payment also resolves allegations under the Controlled Substances Act that Dr. McLeod left signed, but otherwise blank, prescriptions for use by other healthcare providers while McLeod was out of the country. 

Dr. McLeod made the payment pursuant to a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General based on an investigation by the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad.

In announcing the settlement, U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson said, “Healthcare professionals hold positions of trust in our community, and the privilege of writing prescriptions for controlled substances comes with great responsibility. The integrity of our healthcare system and the well-being of our citizens depend upon the proper exercise of this privilege. My office will vigorously pursue allegations that this privilege has been abused for private gain.”

“Healthcare professionals cannot be allowed to fraudulently take funds that are meant to be used for New Mexicans’ healthcare needs,” said New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas.  “New Mexican families can rest assured that our office is continually working with all federal and state entities, to achieve a safer, more prosperous State, and a reliable healthcare system that will last citizens years into the future.”

“The penalties levied against Dr. McLeod sends the message, to medical professionals who endanger the safe and legal dispensation of pharmaceutical drugs, that they will be investigated and sanctioned to the fullest extent of the law,” stated Kyle Williamson, DEA El Paso Division Special Agent in Charge.

Dr. McLeod is a New Mexico healthcare service provider with offices in Moriarty, Edgewood and Cedar Crest, N.M. The United States and the State of New Mexico contend that he submitted, or caused to be submitted, claims for payment to the Medicare, Medicaid Program, TRICARE Program, and Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. 

With respect to the False Claims Act allegations, the United States and State of New Mexico contend that, Dr. McLeod submitted claims for services to these programs while he was out of the country on various dates between May 21, 2012 and May 6, 2015.  They further contend that Dr. McLeod submitted or caused to be submitted claims for prescription medications when he was out of the country on various dates between May 19, 2012 and Jan. 6, 2018. 

With respect to the Controlled Substances Act allegations, the United States contends that in July 2013, while he was out of the country, Dr. McLeod left signed, but otherwise blank, prescriptions in his office for use by healthcare workers to write prescriptions for controlled substances.

The settlement amount, $300,000, which was paid by Dr. McLeod earlier today, includes $53,724.04 in restitution, the amount the United States and the State of New Mexico contend was improperly claimed by Dr. McLeod.  The balance, $246,275.96, represents penalties paid by Dr. McLeod under the False Claims Act and Controlled Substances Act.

The settlement is the result of a coordinated effort by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael H. Hoses and Ruth F. Keegan of the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Assistant Attorneys General John Grubesic and Emily Luke of the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General, and the Tactical Diversion Squad of the DEA office in Albuquerque.

DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squads combine DEA resources with those of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in an innovative effort to investigate, disrupt and dismantle those suspected of violating the Controlled Substances Act or other appropriate federal, state or local statutes pertaining to the diversion of licit pharmaceutical controlled substances or listed chemicals.

Claims settled by this agreement are allegations only.  There have been no admissions of liability by Dr. McLeod.

Topic(s): 
Asset Forfeiture
False Claims Act
Component(s): 
Updated September 6, 2018