Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Tennessee CEO indicted for $2.5 million Medicare fraud case

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The CEO of a Tennessee company that sold knee, wrist and back braces has been federally indicted for allegedly paying more than $1.2 million in bribes to sales representatives who referred her customers, allowing her to bill Medicare for more than $2.5 million in tainted claims.

Brenda Montgomery, 70, of Camden, the owner of CCC Medical, Inc., has been charged with conspiracy and bribery, according to a federal indictment that was unsealed Thursday. The bust was part of a nationwide health care fraud takedown, which led to hundreds of arrests in a host of unconnected cases across the nation.

Montgomery was identified as leader of the alleged Tennessee bribery conspiracy, which prosecutors say spanned six years before being discovered in January. Federal prosecutors also charged four others: Beau Jones, 50, of Loudon; and Sarah Dacus, 36; Greg Lawson, 42; and Josh Wiley, 35; all of Knoxville.

Each of these four suspects, all of whom worked for a medical device manufacturers who were not identified by prosecutors, are accused of taking bribes from Montgomery in return for sending her business. Montgomery then filed claims for that business with Medicaid, which means taxpayers ultimately paid for her profits, and by extension, the alleged bribes.

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Prosecutors allege in court records that Montgomery kept 25 percent of each reimbursement for herself, gave another 25 percent to Jones and gave the remaining 50 percent to whichever sales representative that sent her the business in the first place.

Investigators also say they have obtained emails in which the suspects discuss this arrangement.

“I did a mock work up for Greg because he would like to be paid a flat rate,” Jones wrote to Montgomery in a 2014 email, according to court records.

“Where is my cut?” Montgomery responded.

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As of midday Friday, public court records do not yet list attorneys for Montgomery or any of her alleged conspirators.

The charges announced against Montgomery this week are separate but similar to another healthcare bribery case filed against her in April. In that case, Montgomery is accused of paying $770,000 in bribes to John Davis, CEO of a Comprehensive Pain Specialists, a multi-state pain management company, so he would refer business to her company. Montgomery also allegedly bought a sham company, ProMed Solutions, from Davis as a cover for some of the bribes, according to court records.

Both Montgomery and Davis have pleaded not guilty in the April case.

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