Richard Davidson, MD, Boca Raton, Florida, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.
According to the plea agreement, in 2018, Davidson and his conspirators established a conglomerate of Durable Medical Equipment (DME) supply companies. During the creation of the companies, they lied to Medicare to secure billing privileges. The scheme involved placing the companies in the names of straw owners. By concealing their true ownership, the conspirators secretly gained control of multiple companies, which Medicare prohibits. This enabled the conspirators to submit high volumes of illegal DME claims while attempting to evade law enforcement scrutiny. In one year, through the conglomerate, Davidson and his conspirators submitted more than $20 million in illegal DME claims, resulting in more than $10 million in payments from Medicare and the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).
To attain such high volumes of claims, the conspirators used bribes and kickbacks. Specifically, Davidson and his conspirators illegally purchased thousands of signed doctors’ orders for DME braces from so-called “marketers.” The marketers, for their part, had generated the signed doctors’ orders under the guise of “telemedicine,” but no telemedicine had actually occurred. Instead, the “marketers” had bribed doctors to sign the DME brace orders that supported the illegal claims. Davidson and his conspirators paid millions to secure the illegal DME claims for submission to Medicare and CHAMPVA, according to the plea agreement.
Davidson faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and has also agreed to forfeit $2.4 million to the United States, which represents the proceeds he obtained through the commission of the offense. A sentencing date has not yet been set.