Kickbacks can be defined as illegal payments that are made to people who have facilitated transactions or appointments. They are generally intended as compensation for preferential treatment or other types of improper services. Typically, a kickback is a financial transaction, but it can also take the form of a gift, credit or any other agreed upon item of value. Kickbacks interfere with one’s ability to make unbiased decisions. Simply put, kickbacks are forms of bribery.
Texas couple convicted of $1 million kickback scheme.
As its name declares, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute affirms that the giving and receiving of kickbacks are illegal. 52 year-old, Lindell King and his 44 year-old wife, Ynedra Diggs have been convicted for participating in such illegal activity. As reported by the United States Department of Justice this week, the Missouri City couple were found guilty of a $1 million Medicare fraud scheme involving kickbacks.
According to evidence presented at their trial, King and Diggs were patient recruiters. They owned and operated group homes where Medicare beneficiaries lived. The couple worked out an arrangement with a community mental health center known as Behavioral Medicine of Houston (BMH). In exchange for sending their group home residents to BMH, King and Diggs were paid by the center via cash or check.
The payments, says the DoJ, were often concealed as compensation for “transportation” or other sham services. The community mental health center purported to provide partial hospitalization services and billed approximately $1 million to Medicare based on kickbacks paid to King and Diggs. Sentencing for the couple is set for August 4. King faces up to 20 years in prison on all charges and Diggs faces up to 15 years in prison on all charges.
California marketer sentenced for his role in kickback scheme.
44 year-old, Manuel J. Bojorquez of Anaheim, California was just sentenced for paying millions of dollars in kickbacks. As reported by the Southern District of Indiana branch of the United States Department of Justice, he will face 36 months of probation. 18 of those months will be served on home confinement. He has also been ordered to pay over $3.3 million in restitution for offering and paying kickbacks to physicians to prescribe compounded medications.
According to court documents, Bojorquez was the owner and operator of MD Medical Distribution LLC. It did business under the name DynaMD. Between 2013 and 2016, Bojorquez served as a marketer for various Indiana-based compounding pharmacies. Compounding, explains the DoJ, involves the preparation of medication by combining and mixing different types and dosages of ingredients. Doing so creates a medication that is tailored to the needs of an individual patient who can’t find a similar medication on the market.
“Bojorquez used his marketing company to funnel millions of dollars to Chicago-based physicians, in exchange for their referral of prescriptions to the Indiana-based pharmacies,” details the DoJ report, “Bojorquez and his marketing company received a percentage of the money paid for those kickback-induced prescriptions.”
The United States Department of Labor – Office of Workers Compensation Programs (DOL-OWCP) is a federal health care benefit program that serves a variety of federal employees. It paid over $8 million for Bojorquez’s kickback-induced prescriptions.
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