February 24, 2021
Kelly Wolfe (49, Indian Rocks Beach) has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and filing a false tax return. She faces a maximum penalty of 13 years in federal prison.
In addition to her criminal charges, Wolfe and her company, Regency, Inc. (“Regency”) have agreed to pay up to $20,332,516, to resolve allegations that Wolfe and Regency violated the False Claims Act in a number of ways, including falsifying documentation in order to fraudulently establish durable medical equipment (“DME”) corporations to bill for medically unnecessary DME equipment, and engaging in improper marketing practices that violate the Anti-Kickback Statute.
According to court documents, Wolfe and her conspirators used Regency to establish dozens of DME supply companies—or, rather, DME fronts—using trickery and deception. The scheme involved placing the DME fronts in the names of straw owners. By concealing the true ownership of the fronts, Wolfe’s conspirators secretly gained control of multiple companies. With such control, they collectively submitted well over $400 million in illegal DME claims to Medicare and CHAMPVA (i.e., the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans). The conspirators relied on the guise of “telemedicine” to explain the unusually high volume of claims, when, in fact, they had simply bribed doctors to approve them. Almost always, the doctors had no interaction, including telehealth interaction, with the beneficiaries. Wolfe further admitted that, for tax year 2017, she had purchased numerous personal items and services using Regency’s funds. Rather than properly report this as income to the Internal Revenue Service, Wolfe falsely classified her personal spending as purported business expenditures. Read the full press release.
Source: Department of Justice
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