Four Boca Raton residents face federal charges for a nationwide prescription medication telemedicine scheme. The telemedicine scheme lasted for two years from January 2014 to October 2016 with eleven total involved.
Ten of the eleven, are Florida residents located in South Florida. One of the defendants, Margaret Chiasson, lives in Boston but once lived in Florida. The four Boca Raton residents are Luis Garcia (30), Robert C. Clark (54), Benjamin C. Heath (37), and Antonio J. Gousgounis (34).
“They recruited patients and prescribed unneeded specialty medications that were much more expensive than mass-produced prescription medications,” according to the Sun Sentinel. “And then they charged the patient’s insurance policies for pricier prescriptions.”
The scheme included lying to patients and defrauding many health insurance providers. One of the victimized insurance companies was Tricare, a healthcare program of the U.S. Department of Defense, which provides coverage for active-duty members of the military, veterans, retirees, and their families.
The defendants used telemarketing and mass marketing to solicit. “Physicians also were illegally provided with partially completed, pre- printed prescription pads,” according to court documents. “to make it easier to prepare the false prescriptions.”
Not only do some of the defendants have the federal charges for the telemedicine scheme, but they have money laundering crimes as well.
According to the Department of Justice
Office for the District of Southern Florida, the defendants are charged with “unjustly enriching themselves… and causing the submission
of fraudulent and invalid prescriptions for compounded medications that were not medically needed”.
The ten Florida residents were in federal court on Oct. 7, 2020, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hunt in Fort Lauderdale. Margaret Chiasson appeared in court before Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler in the District of Massachusetts.