The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that a federal grand jury has charged two pharmacy owners, a mother-daughter duo from South Florida, with healthcare fraud, wire fraud, and payment of kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals.

According to the indictment, the pharmacy entered into sham contracts with marketing and telemedicine companies that disguised the kickbacks as payments for marketing and related services. The companies did not perform bona fide services for the pharmacy, but instead referred orders for expensive durable medical equipment and pharmaceutical medications without determinations of medical necessity or Medicare reimbursement eligibility. The pharmacy paid the companies in exchange for the referrals.

From August 2016 to May 2020, the pharmacy allegedly submitted over $12 million in false claims to Medicare and received more than $8.4 million from the illegal arrangement. The charges are merely allegations and the defendants have not admitted wrongdoing.

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