United States: Five Individuals Charged for Roles in $65 Million Nationwide Conspiracy to Defraud Federal Health Care Programs

The owners of four orthotic brace suppliers and several marketing companies were charged in a complaint unsealed yesterday for allegedly orchestrating a nationwide kickback and bribery scheme to order medically unnecessary orthotic braces for Medicare beneficiaries.

Thomas Farese, 78, of Delray Beach, Florida and Pat Truglia, 53, of Parkland, Florida, the owners of orthotic brace suppliers, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and three counts of health care fraud, all in connection with paying and receiving health care kickbacks and bribes for orders of orthotic braces.

Christopher Cirri, 63, and Nicholas DeFonte, 72, both of Toms River, New Jersey, the owners and operators of a fraudulent marketing company were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud in connection with paying and receiving health care kickbacks and bribes for orthotic brace orders. Cirri and DeFonte were arrested and appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen of the District of New Jersey

Domenic Gatto, 46, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, an owner and operator of an orthotic brace supplier, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care, in connection with soliciting and receiving health care kickbacks.  Gatto surrendered and appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen of the District of New Jersey

The complaint alleges that between October 2017 and April 2019, Farese, Truglia, Cirri, DeFonte, and Gatto participated in a nationwide conspiracy to defraud Medicare, TRICARE, Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of

Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), and other federal and private health care benefit programs through the payment and receipt of illegal health care fraud kickbacks in exchange for orthotic brace orders that lacked medical necessity with a total loss of approximately $65 million.

The original full article can be found at justice.gov

 

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