“Wolf of Wall Street” Inspired Character, CEO of Medical Supply Company, Raided by FBI, Faces Medicare Fraud Charges
On Wednesday, January 14th, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided and shut down a medical supply company in South Florida as part of a larger Medicare fraud investigation when the CEO was arrested on Medicare Fraud charges. While this is nothing new for Florida – a large population of senior citizen retirees who flock to the warm shores means more companies prey on this group for fraud purposes – this particular medical supply company’s CEO was the inspiration for a character in the award-winning movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
The company, Med-Care Diabetic & Medical Supplies in Boca Raton, is headed by Daniel Porush, a model for the character Donnie Azoff in the 2013 film, played by Jonah Hill. Porush and another accomplice were convicted of breaking stock trading laws in the mid-1990’s, which inspired the movie about criminal activity, prostitution, illegal drugs, and greed.
Still a consummate businessman, Porush founded Med-Care after serving his sentence, but the company allegedly committed Medicaid and Medicare fraud between 2009 and 2012, convincing elderly and poor patients to purchase medical equipment with their government funds that they did not need through a telemarketing scam. The medical equipment is billed to the recipient, but then never arrives. The whistleblower lawsuit claims that Med-Care received $84 million by defrauding the government in that 4-year period.
An attorney for Med-Care said in a statement that the company “has always been fully transparent in cooperating with regulatory or governmental inquiries that it receives.”
“This inquiry is no different. … The process used today was unexpected, but the company is cooperating, and will continue to cooperate, fully. The company has nothing to hide.”
Tiffany Brumbury was a former employee of East End Associates, which operated a call center in New York, and was hired as part of the telemarketing Medicare fraud scheme associated with Med-Care. She alleges in her complaint that callers were told that they “did not need to always follow the script and should say whatever they needed to say, and make whatever representations they needed to make, to obtain billing information (including Medicare billing information) and to secure a sale.”
Whistleblower Protections and Medicare Fraud Claims
It is a provision of the Federal Civil False Claims Act that allows a private citizen to file a suit, in the name of the U.S. Government, charging fraud by government contractors and other entities that receive or use government funds. Bolstered by amendments passed by Congress in 1986, the law has armed private citizens who have independent and direct knowledge of fraud, whether financial institution fraud or Medicare fraud, with a weapon to prosecute government contractors and others who are defrauding the Government.
Common whistleblower actions include:
- Medicare fraud,
- defense contractor fraud, and
- other kinds of fraud against state or federal government
Qui tam lawsuits have been, and continue to be, a very effective and successful tool in combating government procurement and program fraud.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help Protect Medicare Fraud Whistleblowers with the False Claims Act
If you are personally aware of a fraud that has been committed by your current or former employer, a competitor or otherwise, from tax evasion to Medicare fraud, contact the Qui Tam attorneys at the Strom Law Firm today for a no cost consultation to discuss the facts of your case and whether filing a qui tam may be appropriate. We understand the complexity of the False Claims Act, and can help you with your case. We offer free, confidential consultations so contact us for help today. 803.252.4800