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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Monroe Lab Owner Indicted for Paying Bribes and Kickbacks Resulting in Improper Billings to Medicare of Approximately $117 Million

MONROE, La. George M. “Trey” Fluitt, III, 53, of Monroe, made his initial appearance in United States District Court today, Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced. Fluitt, the owner and operator of Specialty Drug Testing, LLC (“Specialty”) in Monroe, was indicted by a federal grand jury for paying bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, resulting in improper billings to Medicare of approximately $117 million.

Fluitt was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive health care kickbacks. In addition, the indictment charges Fluitt with two counts of offering and payment of kickbacks and bribes in connection with a federal health care program, specifically Medicare.

According to the indictment, Fluitt and Specialty conspired with other unnamed co-conspirators and companies to unlawfully enrich themselves and others by soliciting and paying kickbacks and bribes in return for patient DNA specimens and physicians’ orders for cancer genetic tests and pharmacogentic testing. The indictment alleges that Fluitt and two other co-conspirators created and transmitted invoices and spreadsheets reflecting the kickback and bribe payments owed by Specialty, and used email and other forms of communication to inform each other of Medicare reimbursements, the payment of kickbacks and bribes, and other matters related to the scheme to defraud. It is further alleged in the indictment that as a result of these false and fraudulent claims, Medicare paid to Specialty at least the approximate amount of $28,726,229.

If convicted, the defendant faces up to five years in prison for each count of conspiracy to defraud health care program.  Fluitt also faces 10 years in prison for illegal kickbacks.  The defendant faces up to 5 years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, conducted the investigation.  U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Trial Attorneys Gary A. Winters, Justin M. Woodard, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth D. Reeg are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

 

Topic(s): 
Health Care Fraud
Updated October 6, 2020