Telemarketing Exec Guilty In $1.2 Billion Medicare Scam

From the Department of Justice:

The owner and chief executive officer (CEO) of a telemedicine company pleaded guilty today for his role in one of the largest health care fraud schemes ever investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and prosecuted by the Department of Justice, which resulted in charges in April 2019 against 24 defendants.

Lester Stockett, 52, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay and receive health care kickbacks, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Stockett was the owner of Video Doctor USA (Video Doctor) and Telemed Health Group LLC (AffordADoc) (collectively, the Video Doctor Network), and was the CEO of AffordADoc.

In connection with his plea agreement, Stockett agreed to pay $200 million in restitution to the United States, as well as forfeit assets and property traceable to proceeds of the conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Stockett’s sentencing is set for Dec. 16 before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo of the District of New Jersey, who accepted his plea today.

Reuters reports:

The owner of a telemarketing company implicated in the largest component of a $1.2 billion Medicare fraud involving the supply of medically unnecessary orthotic braces pleaded guilty to criminal charges on Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

The Justice Department said Stockett was involved in a $424 million conspiracy where he obtained kickbacks and bribes from patient recruiters, pharmacies and brace suppliers, and then paid kickbacks and bribes to induce doctors to order braces for elderly and disabled patients who did not need them.

Criminal charges remain pending against Stockett’s co-defendants, Creaghan Harry and Elliot Loewenstern, over their alleged involvement in the Video Doctor scheme. The scheme allegedly involved the use of offshore call centers and shell companies, with laundered money used to buy exotic cars, yachts and luxury real estate.

See the full DOJ description of how the scam worked here.