Rainbow Metropolis man enters responsible plea in kickback, fraud case
An Etowah County man pleaded responsible on Tuesday in a multimillion-dollar kickback and well being care fraud case, in keeping with a information launch from Prim Escalona, the U.S. Lawyer for Alabama’s Northern District.
David Lyle Shehi, 42, of Rainbow Metropolis entered the plea earlier than Chief U.S. District Decide L. Scott Coogler on expenses of conspiracy to pay kickbacks and commit well being care fraud.
The utmost penalty for conspiracy to commit well being care fraud and obtain kickbacks is 5 years in jail.
In response to the plea settlement within the case, the information launch reported, Shehi conspired with others to commit well being care fraud and obtain kickbacks in trade for his ache administration clinic in Rainbow Metropolis, Etowah Ache, ordering objects that may be billed to Medicare and different well being insurers.
Amongst these providers was electro-diagnostic testing offered by QBR, or Diagnostic Referral Group, based mostly in Huntsville.
Shehi in his plea settlement admitted to receiving a per-patient payment for exams ordered by QBR and subsequently reimbursed by insurance coverage. These funds had been disguised as hourly funds for the ordering doctor’s time and their employees’s time.
Dr. Eric Beck, 64, of Huntsville was sentenced by Coogler on Wednesday to fifteen months in jail. He pleaded responsible final 12 months to well being care fraud consipracy for his involvement within the QBR scheme.
And John Alan Robson, 40, of Trussville, was indicted in February in a associated case for well being care fraud conspiracy, kickback conspiracy, and kickbacks.
All these instances had been associated to a number of different instances which have produced convictions, in keeping with the information launch.
John Hornbuckle, 53, of Huntsville, QBR’s former chief govt officer, pleaded responsible to well being care fraud and kickback conspiracy for orchestrating the fraud. He’s been sentenced to 80 months in jail.
James Ewing Ray, 52, of Gadsden, pleaded responsible to well being care fraud and kickback conspiracy. As a gross sales consultant, he marketed QBR’s scheme to Shehi and different medical practices and obtained kickbacks for every take a look at ordered. He’s awaiting sentencing.
A jury in March 2022 convicted Dr. Mark Murphy, 66, and his spouse Jennifer Murphy, 66, each of Lewisburg, Tennessee, on drug distribution, fraud and kickback expenses. They had been every sentenced to twenty years in jail.
The Murphys operated North Alabama Ache Providers, in keeping with the information launch, which closed its Decatur and Madison workplaces in 2017. In response to court docket paperwork and proof introduced at trial, they took kickbacks from QBR totaling greater than $1 million, in return for Dr. Murphy ordering electro-diagnostic exams from QBR for his sufferers, whatever the want. He additionally pre-signed prescriptions for costly specialty topical lotions, sprays and patches, which sufferers then obtained whether or not they needed them or not.
The Murphys’ co-defendant, Brian Bowman, 42, of Gadsden, pleaded responsible earlier than their trial to well being care fraud conspiracy. He admitted advertising and marketing QBR’s electro-diagnostic testing to medical suppliers and receiving a payment from the corporate for every take a look at they ordered, netting practically $1 million.
Bowman additionally admitted marketed high-reimbursing specialty prescribed drugs to the Murphys and different suppliers, and receiving funds for the prescriptions he generated. He’s awaiting sentencing.
The FBI and the Division of Well being and Human Providers’ Workplace of Inspector Common investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys J.B. Ward and Don Lengthy prosecuted it.
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