July 30, 2020

Telemarketing could trigger Florida fraud complaints

Florida is a popular place to do business, which is why many entrepreneurs make the Sunshine State their home. Among the many entrepreneurs located here are those who engage in lawful telemarketing sales. Telemarketing is a common way to directly connect with potential customers, but you need to do it correctly to prevent possible criminal law complaints, such as fraud.

Pasco telemarketer charged with fraud

A recent example of telemarketing leading to possible criminal law violations is the prosecution of a Pasco man who pleaded guilty to health care fraud charges. Prosecutors accused the man, age 47, of conspiring to commit health care fraud by targeting vulnerable senior citizens with a telemarketing scheme.

The man’s company, SKF Enterprises, reportedly paid telemarketers to upsell testing products to seniors on Medicare. The telemarketers followed a script that asked questions posed in the form of a “triage” and converted those answers into a prescription for DME and CGx testing services. SKF is said to have paid doctors to sign fraudulent prescriptions for medical services that were charged to Medicare although the tests were not medically necessary.

Telemedicine that did not happen

The man pleaded guilty to bribing doctors to sign the prescriptions, which supposedly were obtained via “telemedicine.” Instead of providing telemedicine, prosecutors say the telemarketers tricked seniors into answering a series of leading questions that they packaged into prescriptions for testing services. The man reportedly had “client-conspirators” submit the bogus prescriptions to Medicare and the Department of Veterans Affairs for payment. Prosecutors say the man and others tried to hide their scheme via marketing agreements and exchanged $3.4 million to enable the illegal act.

Florida criminal law attorneys help to ensure rights

While some telemarketers do engage in fraud and are punished for illegal acts, many more operate legally and ethically. Whether your organization is engaged in telemarketing or other legal marketing behaviors, if you find yourself accused of fraud or other illegal activity, an experienced Florida criminal law attorney may help to affirm your rights while working to ensure that you get a fair outcome.

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