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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Owner of Guadalupe County Telemedicine Companies Arrested in National Health Care Fraud Takedown

This morning, federal authorities arrested 54–year-old Christopher O’Hara, of Kingsbury, TX, without incident in connection with Health Care Fraud, bribery and kickback scheme, announced U.S. Attorney John Bash, FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter, Dallas Field Office. 

On Wednesday, a federal grand jury in San Antonio returned an indictment charging the owner and operator of 1stCare MD and ProfitsCentric with one count of conspiracy to pay and receive HealthCare Kickbacks. 

The indictment alleges that from 2016 to 2019, O’Hara defrauded HHS in its administration and oversight of Medicare.  The indictment alleges that O’Hara conspired with others by paying and receiving kickbacks and bribes in exchange for doctors’ orders for durable medical equipment (DME) for Medicare beneficiaries. The indictment further alleges that O’Hara, 1stCare MD and ProfitsCentric, through their network of doctors, were responsible for generating thousands of doctors’ orders for DME absent of a pre-existing doctor-patient relationship, absent of a physical examination and, based solely on a short telephonic conversation.  O’Hara’s actions resulted in the submission of approximately $40 million in fraudulent Medicare claims for DME.

This afternoon, a federal magistrate judge released O’Hara on a $150,000 bond.  O’Hara faces up to five years in federal prison upon conviction.

Special agents with the FBI and HHS-OIG, together with investigators from the Texas Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, investigated this case.  DOJ trial attorney Kevin Lowell and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean O’Connell and Eric Yuen are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

O’Hara’s arrest and federal indictment is part of a nationwide law enforcement action which targeted 24 defendants involved in extensive health care fraud schemes that focus on telemedicine and DME marketing.  These schemes allegedly resulted in losses amounting to more than $1.2 billion. 

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Health Care Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated April 9, 2019