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4 Years For Scammer Who Duped Florida Medicare Recipients

Nick Youngson, Alpha Stock Images (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Land O’ Lakes man sentenced to four years in prison, ordered to pay $3.42M in restitution for fraud

Sep 8, 2020

Tampa Bay Business Journal – A Land O’ Lakes man has been sentenced to four years in prison for his part in a health care fraud scheme that targeted Medicare-aged residents.

Samuel Friedman, 45, of Land O’ Lakes, has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for health care fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. Along with that, he was ordered to forfeit his interests in real property as well as a bank account containing nearly $475,000, which is traceable to proceeds of the offense.

He will also pay restitution of $3.42 million. Friedman pleaded guilty on June 16, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

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According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Friedman owned and operated a telemarketing operation known as SKF Enterprises LLC. The company targeted Medicare-aged residents to generate orders for durable medical equipment and cancer genetic testing.

SKF’s call center employees were trained to follow a script designed to upsell DME and CGx testing to Medicare beneficiaries. It then packaged that information into a prescription for doctors’ approval calling it “telemedicine,” though no proper telemedicine was performed. Instead, doctors’ signatures were secured in exchange for bribes and kickbacks, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Friedman bribed doctors, through fraudulent “telemedicine” companies, to sign and to approve thousands of DME and CGx-testing orders, regardless of their necessity. Once they signed, he sold the prescriptions to client-conspirators for submission to Medicare and the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Source. Fair Use. 

“During the scheme, Friedman bribed numerous doctors, through fraudulent “telemedicine” companies, to sign and to approve thousands of [durable medical equipment and cancer genetic testing] orders, regardless of medical necessity. Once signed by doctors, Friedman sold the prescriptions to client-conspirators for submission to Medicare and the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The conspirators attempted to conceal their illegal kickback relationships using sham boilerplate marketing agreements. For these illegal sales, conspirators paid SKF more than $3.4 million.” – MadisonFL.net, Madison County, Florida | Source. 

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