Tampa, Florida - A federal jury found the owner of a Tampa, Florida-area medical marketing company guilty Thursday for his role in an over $2.2 million Medicare fraud scheme involving the payment of kickbacks and bribes to medical clinics in Miami in exchange for the referral of DNA swabs that were obtained from Medicare beneficiaries.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez of the Middle District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson of the FBI’s Tampa Field Office and Assistant Inspector General Shimon Richmond of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Miami Regional Office made the announcement.
Following a four-day trial, David Brock Lovelace, 49, of Land o’ Lakes, Florida, the owner of DBL Management LLC was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks and one count of structuring currency transactions to avoid reporting requirements. Lovelace is expected to be sentenced on Oct. 2, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew of the Middle District of Florida, who presided over the trial..
According to the evidence presented at trial, Lovelace was paid by Clinical Laboratory Company A for each DNA swab that Lovelace arranged to be referred to the laboratory. In order to obtain DNA swabs, Lovelace paid cash kickbacks and bribes to medical clinics in Miami in exchange for the referral of DNA swabs that were obtained from Medicare beneficiaries. Lovelace directed the owners of the medical clinics to collect the DNA of all of the patients at the clinics, regardless of medical necessity.
In the first phase of the scheme, from November 2013 to May 2014, the evidence at trial showed that Lovelace paid these cash kickbacks directly. In the second phase of the scheme, from May 2014 to November 2014, after his arrest on other charges, Lovelace established shell companies, including Healthcare Marketing Florida of Melbourne, Florida, and conspired with nominee owners to facilitate the payment of kickbacks, receipt of fraud proceeds, and transfer of unlawfully obtained DNA samples for medically unnecessary testing. Over the course of the entire conspiracy, Clinical Laboratory Company A submitted over $2.2 million in genetic testing claims and paid Lovelace a percentage of the Medicare reimbursements that it received.
In order to conceal his payment of illegal cash kickbacks, the evidence at trial showed that Lovelace would travel to different ATM’s and bank branches throughout Southern Florida and make separate withdrawals of thousands of dollars in cash in order to avoid the filing of U.S. Department of Treasury “currency transaction reports” for an individual withdrawal of over $10,000.
Lovelace was previously found guilty by a jury in December 2015 of various health care fraud, money laundering and identity theft charges in a case handled by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. He is currently serving 14 years in prison.
The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney John Michelich and Acting Assistant Chief Jacob Foster of the Fraud Section.
The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 14 strike forces operating in 23 districts, has charged nearly 4,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $14 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.