A healthcare executive who owned a medical brace company chose to accept a plea deal when facing allegations of violating the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). Prosecutors stated that the exec used illegal kickbacks to encourage physicians to use their services when completing doctors’ orders for medically unnecessary orthotic braces.
What were the details of the deal?
According to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), during negotiations the accused agreed to admit to improperly receiving over $16 million in funds as part of a larger healthcare fraud scheme. The accused allegedly billed both Medicare and private insurance corporations for the medically unnecessary medical equipment. Within their announcement, the government noted that this was part of a larger scheme and that it led to the conviction of over two dozen individuals.
It is possible the accused was able to aid the government in the investigation that led to additional convictions.
Why would the exec consider a plea deal?
Likely because the penalties that could apply after a courtroom battle may be even more severe. If convicted, the court could sentence the accused of up to five years imprisonment and $250,000 in fines for each violation. In many cases, a plea deal can include negotiations for reduced severity during sentencing. It is also possible that during negotiations the prosecution threatened to pursue even more severe criminal charges. Thus far, we know that the accused agreed to pay the government $16.58 million in restitution. The accused is scheduled for sentencing in March 25, 2021.