Health care fraud takes place all over the United States…all the time. In most cases, it requires a team of individuals who conspire to work together in the name of defrauding our nation’s health insurance programs. In some of those cases, the co-conspirators are family members. And, in others, they are husband and wife. Enter Michael and Regan Dube. This Tennessee-based married couple is one of the latest to team up for the purposes of committing health care fraud.
As the Western District of Virginia branch of the United States Department of Justice reports, the Dubes have pleaded guilty to the charges levied against them. On Wednesday, 59 year-old, Michael Dube pleaded guilty to two counts of health care fraud, while 40 year-old, Regan Dube pleaded guilty to one count. She will be sentenced on September 15th and her husband will receive his sentence two days later.
This isn’t the first time Michael Dube has pleaded guilty to fraudulent activity.
As the DoJ report details, back in March of 2011, he was convicted on one count of intentionally omitting information from reports as required under the Controlled Substances Act. Because of this, he was excluded from participating in any federal health care program.
Nevertheless, Dube and his wife would go on to found American Toxicology Labs (ATL) in May of 2013. Regan Dube served as the company’s registered agent. The couple used their home address as the principal office and mailing address. They then applied to have ATL participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Regan Dube listed herself as the owner of ATL on the applications. She made it appear as if her husband wasn’t involved in the company.
At ATL, the Dubes conducted urine screens for various entities.
These entities all represented themselves as opioid treatment facilities. Between May of 2014 and January of 2020, ATL received payments totaling about $8.5 million from Medicare, Virginia Medicaid, Kentucky Medicaid and TennCare. All the while, Michael Dube was making employment decisions and negotiating business arrangements with providers.
Contrary to Regan Dube’s application, Michael Dube was clearly participating in the management of ATL. “In addition, Michael Dube also received kickback payments from third-parties for referring individuals to those third-parties for services for which payment was made (in whole or in part) by federal health care programs,” reports the DoJ, “These payments were deposited in Michael and Regan Dube’s personal checking account in a total amount of $441,646.”
The Dubes must now pay $9 million.
With both Michael and Regan Dube now having pleaded guilty to their health care fraud charges, they are to pay more than $9 million plus interest to be divided between special assessments, fines, restitution and forfeiture. They will also have to repay all of the money they received from Medicare and Medicaid programs.
First Assistant United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar was quoted in the DoJ report about the case. “The Dubes preyed upon a healthcare system that is supposed to help those in need. This is particularly egregious, given Michael Dube’s prior exclusion from federal health care programs,” he said on Wednesday, “I am proud of the collaboration between our federal and state partners in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, which produced this just result.”
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