Source: U.S. Department of Justice
A Toms River, New Jersey physician pleaded guilty today for his role in a $13 million health care fraud scheme, which previously resulted in charges in April 2019 against 23 other defendants in one of the largest health care fraud cases 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.
Joseph DeCorso, 62, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan of the District of New Jersey. DeCorso’s sentencing is set for Jan. 8, 2020, before Judge Sheridan.
In pleading guilty, DeCorso admitted that he worked for two purported telemedicine companies for which he wrote medically unnecessary orders for orthotic braces for Medicare beneficiaries between July 2017 and March 2019. He admitted that his conduct resulted in a $13 million intended loss to Medicare.
DeCorso admitted that in the course of the scheme, an international telemarketing network lured hundreds of thousands of elderly or disabled Medicare beneficiaries into the scheme, which involved call centers throughout the world, which then sent the beneficiaries’ information to several telemedicine companies.
DeCorso further admitted that he wrote brace orders for the telemedicine companies without speaking to the beneficiaries and that he concealed the fraud with falsified orders that stated, among other things, that he had “discussions” or “conversations” with beneficiaries or had conducted diagnostic testing for benficiaries, when, in fact, DeCorso had not spoken to beneficiaries and had not conducted diagnostic testing on beneficiaries in connection with the ordering of orthotic braces.
In connection with his plea agreement, DeCorso agreed to pay over $7 million in restitution to the United States, as well as forfeit assets and property traceable to proceeds of the conspiracy.
Any doctors or medical professionals who have been involved with alleged fraudulent telemedicine and DME marketing schemes should call to report this conduct to the FBI hotline at 1-800-CALL-FBI.