A California man has been charged for his alleged participation in a massive telemedicine healthcare fraud scheme that reached to the southern portion of Georgia.

Scott M. Hirsch is the operator of JI Medical, Inc. located in California, which sells durable medical equipment (DME). He is accused of conspiring to pay kickbacks in exchange for receiving orders for DEM that would be billed to Medicare, according to officials.

Officials say the Medicare beneficiaries were located across the country, including in Savannah, Brunswick, Statesboro and Waycross. As part of this scheme, the physicians receiving the payments from Hirsch’s company knowingly signed false medical records describing “consultations” of Medicare patients.

Hirsch is the twenty-second defendant charged in the investigation that uncovered more than $410 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare.

“The growing number of medical providers and equipment providers alleged to have been involved in this ongoing scheme is disheartening,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI and our federal partners will continue to root out such deceitful practices and protect taxpayers and the citizens who deserve the benefits from programs like Medicare, even as telemedicine becomes more common.”

Previous charges in this string of cases include eight physicians, two nurse practitioners, two operators of telemedicine companies and two brokers of patient data. The Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries whose identities were used as part of the scheme are located throughout the Southern District of Georgia, according to officials.

Source: FOX 24