United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that Joseph Wagner (62, Daytona Beach pleaded guilty to health care fraud, conspiracy to illegally distribute prescription drugs, and money laundering. Wagner faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison. He was indicted on June 13, 2012.
According to the plea agreement, Wagner was a licensed chiropractor and owner
of Wagner Chiropractic and Acupuncture Clinic (WCAC) in Volusia County, Florida.
He operated WCAC as a facility that purported to provide chiropractic and other
medical services to customers. On occasion, Wagner did provide chiropractic
services to customers of WCAC. However, he also submitted inflated bills to
public and private health care beneficiary programs, including Medicare. Wagner
charged those programs at the higher rates for services rendered by medical
doctors, instead of the rates appropriate for chiropractors. In addition, Wagner
systematically submitted claims for reimbursement for services not rendered.
As part of the fraud scheme, Wagner submitted fraudulent billings in the
names of medical doctors. By doing so, the health care beneficiary programs
would make payments directly to those medical doctors. The doctors accepted
those payments and would often split the fraudulently obtained insurance
payments with Wagner. In the case of at least one medical doctor participating
in the fraudulent scheme, Wagner received payments from the health care
beneficiary programs by check and then deposited those checks into the medical
doctor’s bank account.
Wagner also provided customers of WCAC with prescriptions for prescription
drugs, often in return for cash payments. Since he could not prescribe
controlled substances, Wagner provided prescriptions for controlled substances
to customers of WCAC using the names of medical doctors who were aware that
Wagner was using their names illegally. Many of the patients who obtained
prescriptions for controlled substances through Wagner used their Medicaid
coverage at pharmacies to pay for those controlled substances.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Food and
Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector
General, Florida Department of Financial Services, Florida Department of Health,
and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by
Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Irick.
As an American, I have witnessed many events in our nation's history. Some of them great like placing a man on the moon. Some of them were dark and shameful events. No matter what happened, it is the people that make this nation great. Each looking to the future with optimism and looking to improve this nation for all. The United States is a great and wonderful nation and her people are her best asset. As Americans, we need to stand together and let our voices be heard.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Former Owner of Daytona Beach Clinic Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Conspiracy, and Money Laundering
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