February 16, 2020

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DOJ Remains “Laser-Focused” on Criminal Telemedicine Enforcement

In a one-two punch during the first half of September 2019, the Department of Justice confirmed that its focus on prosecuting telemedicine companies and physicians engaged in health care fraud shows no sign of slowing down.

On September 6, the owner and CEO of a telemedicine company pled guilty to a $424 million conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay and receive health care kickbacks, in what the DOJ characterized as one of the largest health care fraud schemes ever investigated and prosecuted by the federal government. 

On September 12, less than a week later, a New Jersey physician pled guilty to a $13 million health care fraud conspiracy, in which he admitted to working for telemedicine companies and writing medically unnecessary orders for durable medical equipment without evaluating or speaking to the beneficiaries. These pleas “show that the Department of Justice remains laser-focused on uprooting corporate health care fraud schemes,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the DOJ’s Criminal Division.

Telemedicine is an important health care tool, both for access to care and for specialty services.  But, the potential for abuse through the telemedicine relationships and interactions, and the ever-shifting rules surrounding these relationships and interactions create a landmine of potential civil, criminal and compliance related issues. 

© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California


About this Author

Brian F. McEvoy, Polsinelli PC, Atlanta, white collar criminal defense lawyer, health care fraud matters attorney

Brian McEvoy is an accomplished litigator with a well-earned reputation for working tirelessly to achieve the best outcomes for clients and for thinking creatively and strategically to resolve difficult problems with efficiency and professionalism. Brian is a former federal prosecutor with a practice focus on white collar criminal defense and a special emphasis in health care fraud matters. During his service as a federal prosecutor, he received special commendation from the Department of Health and Human Services by receiving the Inspector General's Integrity Award for...


As a shareholder in the Government Investigations practice, Brian Rafferty leverages a distinguished background serving as Chief of the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia. In his more than ten years of experience as a federal prosecutor, Brian oversaw and managed some of the most high-profile and complex investigations in the Southern District of Georgia. Before his work as a federal prosecutor, Brian was a partner at white collar criminal litigation boutique in New York, where he represented individuals in government investigations.  Brian draws upon his deep understanding of the inner workings of enforcement authorities to represent clients facing regulatory and criminal enforcement actions. Leveraging his extensive experience and sound judgment, Brian constructs comprehensive strategies to defend entities and individuals facing government investigations and enforcement proceedings.

Brian focuses his practice on defending clients in a multitude of white collar defense, internal investigations and complex federal litigation matters. He provides prospective guidance to mitigate and ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations. His work spans an array of industries with a particular focus on health care fraud, government contracting, and financial industries.

Paige Ayres Nutini Government Investigations Attorney

As a member of Polsinelli’s Government Investigations practice, Paige assists clients in all aspects of white collar criminal defense and internal corporate investigations. Working to understand each client’s unique situation, she helps guide clients through government inquiries to find solutions that align to business strategies.

Prior to joining Polsinelli, Paige served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable William L. Campbell, Jr., United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Paige also practiced as an attorney in the Nashville office of an international...