DME owner pleads guilty in latest brace fraud case

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Patrick Wolfe, operator of Wilmington Island Medical in Georgia, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for his role in a scheme in which he paid kickbacks in return for leads for DME like orthotic braces and then billed Medicare Part B for the items.

This prosecution stems from “Operation Brace Yourself,” a nationwide fraud takedown of a $1.2 billion scheme uncovered in 2019.

The combined total of fraud charged in these Georgia cases, which include eight physicians, two nurse practitioners, three operators of different telemedicine companies, three brokers of patient data, and several other owners of DME companies, is more than $480 million, according to the Department of Justice.

“When the delivery of health care turns from providing comfort to patients to padding the pockets of greedy criminals, our office and those of our law enforcement partners will be there to protect our federal treasury,” said Bobby Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. 

Wolfe, of Florida, faces up to five years in prison, plus substantial financial penalties and forfeitures.