The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has ramped up investigations of allegations of illegal medical kickbacks to physicians and health care businesses in the Dallas area. Since May, the agency has raided at least four separate, local health care businesses.
These raids can disrupt a practice and lead to false allegations of wrongdoing. Ultimately, the FBI uses these raids in an effort to gather evidence to support claims of criminal activity. With the right evidence, these allegations can grow to criminal charges and potential lead to a conviction.
What types of evidence did the agency gather? Evidence can vary from financials to paperwork about actual medications. In one case, the FBI gathered evidence to support the contention a health care company was changing ingredients in its medications to increase the cost charged to insurance companies. The agency states the paperwork it gathered during the raid supports the allegation the company changed the ingredients for the sole purpose of raising the cost of the medication, not to benefit the patient.
The FBI has also used recordings taken of meetings between business leaders and health care professionals to support criminal charges. In one case, an individual agreed to allow the agency to tape phone recordings of conversations between himself and an alleged partner. The prosecution has stated that such evidence is often very revealing.
What are the allegations? In some cases, the government has accused physicians of illegal investment in health care businesses. In exchange for these investments, the businesses allegedly provide illegal kickbacks based on the volume of patients referred to the company’s pharmacies.
In these cases currently being prosecuted by the government, additional kickbacks were allegedly provided if the medical professionals prescribed unnecessary medications or ordered unneeded genetic tests.
What are the potential penalties? If evidence is present to support a conviction, penalties can include monetary fines and imprisonment. Defenses are available to these allegations. Contact an attorney experienced in these matters to tailor a defense to the allegations and better ensure your legal rights are protected.