Case Dismissed: Federal Healthcare Fraud Charges Alleging COVID-19 Lab Testing Kickbacks and Fraud Scheme Dismissed Against AEL Client

August 1, 2023 - David M. Eskew

AEL attorneys David M. Eskew and Heather Suchorsky obtained dismissal of all federal charges against an AEL client in a case involving allegations by federal prosecutors that the client participated in a fraudulent COVID-19 lab testing conspiracy. This is the third time that AEL has obtained this exceedingly rare result in a criminal case in the past two years (see prior posts here, here, and here). Utilizing an evidence-based approach to refute the charges in the criminal complaint, AEL presented on multiple occasions to the U.S. Attorney’s Office arguing that the charges were factually unsupported and inaccurate. After a lengthy process, AEL convinced federal prosecutors to dismiss all charges against the client.

Regarding AEL’s work on the case, the client offered the following comments:

I am beyond grateful for all of the hard work that David and Heather did on my case. My family feels truly blessed and happy to have found the AEL team and are anxious to put the darkness of these charges behind our family forever. David and Heather exhibited outstanding teamwork, professionalism, responsiveness, diligence and excellence in convincing the government to dismiss the charges against me. The most important thing to me was that David and Heather never wavered in their belief that I was innocent of the charges and fought for me every step of the way based on that belief.

Federal prosecutors initially charged the client and multiple other co-defendants by criminal complaint in early 2022 with conspiracy to violate the federal Antikickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7(b)(1). The complaint alleged that the co-defendants conspired to pay and receive illegal kickbacks and bribes related to the referral of COVID-19 tests to a NJ-based laboratory. The government incorrectly labeled the client a “marketer” of COVID-19 tests for the laboratory and accused the defendant of accepting bribes in order to refer thousands of COVID-19 tests to the laboratory.

In the two-year period following the charges, AEL worked collaboratively with the client to review extensive evidence showing that the client was the operator of a legitimate mobile COVID-19 testing business and not a marketer for the laboratory. AEL made multiple productions to the government and provided detailed evidence-based presentations. In late 2022, the government returned an indictment against the client’s co-defendants, advancing the case against those individuals, but left AEL’s client off the indictment. In July 2023, federal prosecutors dismissed the charges against AEL’s client in their entirety, ending the case against him.

AEL specializes in federal white-collar criminal defense with a particular expertise in parallel criminal and civil investigations involving individual and institutional healthcare clients ranging from doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals to large national hospital systems, laboratories, life sciences companies, and healthcare adjacent entities. AEL has an established track record of assisting clients in avoiding and minimizing federal charges and pushing back against federal prosecutors and agencies with AEL’s signature evidence-based, detail-oriented approach.

*** The foregoing may constitute attorney advertising and readers are cautioned that prior results do not guarantee future outcomes.