ATLANTA – A Texas man and owner of two DME companies has pleaded guilty to conspiracy for his role in a scheme to pay illegal kickbacks. The kickbacks resulted in more than $20 million submitted in claims, and $11 million in payment from Medicare. The report came via press release from the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Georgia.
“Medicare is a vital program that exists to assist our most vulnerable citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Our office will continue to prosecute those who exploit this institutional safety net for personal profit at the expense of patients and taxpayers.”
“When health care companies try to boost their profits through kickbacks arrangements, they compromise the medical system and increase health care costs for everyone,” says Sean Burke, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.” The FBI is committed to preventing illegal financial relationships that undermine the integrity of our public healthcare programs.”
“Kickbacks impose hidden costs on the health care system and can compromise medical decision-making,” said Tamala Miles, Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General. “Working tirelessly with our law enforcement partners, HHS-OIG will continue to combat the waste of valuable taxpayer dollars and protect the integrity of federal health care programs.”
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: Between at least in or about June 2016 and February 2019, Simon Orobor owned and operated Devotion Medical Supply, Inc (“Devotion”) and Durable Medical Supply, Inc. (“Durable”), which provided durable medical equipment such as knee, back, shoulder, and wrist braces.
Orobor, through another entity called Digital Interventions, LLC, obtained access to thousands of Medicare beneficiaries by paying, on a weekly basis, kickbacks to Individual 1 and Company 1 in exchanged for signed doctors’ orders for braces. Orobor and Individual 1 disguised the nature and source of these kickbacks by designating the payments as marketing expenses, entering into sham contracts, and generating or causing the generation of fraudulent invoices.
In total, Orobor, through Devotion and Durable, used the doctors’ orders obtained through kickbacks to submit claims to Medicare in the approximate amount of $20,555,772 and received Medicare reimbursement in the approximate amount of $11,447,961.
Simon Orobor, 60, of Houston, Texas pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks. Sentencing is scheduled for February 15, 2024 before U.S. District Judge Mark H. Cohen.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General.