Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – While most physicians in their 60’s are either retiring or heading out the door, we have recently seen a trend of retirement aged physicians caught in up in illegal activities. Within the last 6 months, at least 6 medical providers that are retirement age have been brought up on fraud charges, the youngest at age 58. According to the newest release from the Northern District of Alabama Justice Department, one more has been added to that list.
Tennessee physician husband and wife team, Mark and Jennifer Murphy of Lewisburg, Tennessee were convicted this week on drug charges. The couple, both age 65, owned and operated North Alabama Pain Services, which also included offices in Decatur and Maddison which were closed in 2017. Jennifer Murphy was the office manager for the organization.
A 25-count indictment was filed in U.S. District Court back in 2020, and included several co-defendants. According to the indictment, the pair allegedly billed out over $41 Million for non-medically necessary items which included office visits, DME, urine drug screens, nerve conduction studies, and high dollar drugs. Additionally, the indictment asserted that Jennifer Murphy used charity to cover up illegal kickbacks and falsify tax returns to cover up the ill-gotten money.
According to this latest conviction news release, the couple billed out over $50 million in fraudulent charges, in addition to pre-signing prescriptions for “thousands” of patients a month. Some of these prescriptions were written outside the scope of practice without a proper medical reason. The couple also received kickbacks for referring fraudulent and medically unnecessary services to patients. Jennifer Murphy was also convicted of tax related charges for the under reporting of clinic income.
The convictions for the couple include conspiracy to unlawful distribution of controlled substances, conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, in addition to several other related counts. Additionally they were convicted of defrauding the United States and for receiving illegal kickbacks. The couple faces 20 years in prison for the drug charges, and 10 years for the healthcare fraud charges, and 5 years for violating the Anti-Kickback Statute. Jennifer Murphy faxes 3 years prison time for her tax convictions. Their sentencing will be held June 30th.
Additional retirement age physicians with criminal charges the last 6 months include:
September 2021 – Francisco Patino aged 66 – Money laundering, kickbacks
November 2021 – Verna Mae Lewis aged 70 – Drug charges
November 2021 – Yee Chung Ho aged 72 – Drug charges
December 2021 – Randall Halley aged 65 – Drug charges
January 2022 – Anita Louise Jackson aged 58 – Healthcare fraud
February 2022 – Evangelos Megariotis aged 68 – Drug charges