More fraud, tax evasion charges for telemedicine operator tied to $784M scheme

The owner of multiple telemedicine companies has again been indicted by a federal grand jury for quarterbacking and concealing one of the largest Medicare fraud and kickback schemes pursued by the Department of Justice.

Creaghan Harry of Highland Beach, Florida, allegedly billed $784 million in false and fraudulent Medicare claims, more than $247 million of which was paid out, the DOJ wrote in a Tuesday release detailing the superseding indictment.

Federal prosecutors allege that Harry and two co-conspirators (who were previously charged and pleaded guilty) sought illegal payments from durable medical equipment (DME) companies related to orders for DME braces and medications.

Telemedicine companies owned by Harry allegedly would then bribe physicians to write medically unnecessary orders for the products through the companies, they said.

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Payments from the DME companies would be sent to U.S. and international shell companies that would later be transferred to the telemedicine companies to pay for the physician bribes, prosecutors wrote.

Harry allegedly told investors, lawyers and others that the telemedicine companies were bringing in roughly $10 million in annual revenue from telemedicine services fees rather than the kickbacks and bribes, they said. Between 2015 and 2018, Harry also allegedly used funds from the scheme “to live a lavish lifestyle” and did not report or pay any income taxes during that time.

On Tuesday, Harry was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud and four counts of income tax evasion, the DOJ said.

The indictment supersedes earlier charges Harry faced with the co-conspirators, which consisted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive kickbacks, four counts of receipt of kickbacks and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Harry’s initial charges came in 2019 amidst a wave of DOJ actions against owners, executives and other individuals associated with five telemedicine companies, dozens of DME companies and three medical professionals. Collectively, these charges addressed $1.2 billion in Medicare fraud, the DOJ said at the time.