DME Company Owner Found Guilty in Massive Kickback Scheme

A Chicago man faces up to 20 years behind bars for his part in a conspiracy to pay illegal kickbacks to generate business for his durable medical equipment (DME) pharmacy. 

Mark Sorensen, 53, was president and owner of Symed, a Medicare-enrolled durable medical equipment pharmacy. Prosecutors alleged that between 2015 and 2018, he illegally bought patient leads from Bernie Perconti, who obtained them from others, including Christine Anderson and Craig O’Neil. He was convicted of one count of conspiracy and three counts of payment of illegal kickbacks. Symed’s vice president for finance and co-defendant Paulina Goncharova, was acquitted of the same counts.

Symed billed Medicare approximately $87 million and was paid $25 million for the DME claims. 

Without the involvement of the Symed, the conspirators could not have submitted claims to obtain reimbursement from Medicare or other federal healthcare benefit programs, prosecutors stated. Perconti, O’Neil, and Anderson each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks in 2019, July 2020, and January 2021, respectively, and are scheduled to be sentenced at a later date.

The case grew out of a massive healthcare fraud enforcement action in September 2019 that led to charges against 53 Individuals alleging $250 million in losses. The crackdown in Detroit, Chicago and Minnesota focused on schemes billing Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies for medically unnecessary procedures, medical procedures that were never provided and prescription medications that often were never purchased and/or distributed to beneficiaries.

Retail spending for durable medical equipment, increased 21.8 percent in 2021 to $67.1 billion following a decline of 2.4 percent in 2020, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

DME fraud is among the most common type of healthcare schemes. They usually fall into two categories — kickbacks paid in exchange for DME prescriptions that are then used to bill insurers, or fraudsters bill insurers for DME when it was either never provided and/or never prescribed and not medically necessary.

Our firm represents healthcare professionals in state and federal court who are under investigation or charged with fraudulent billing, kickbacks, Medicare and Medicaid fraud and false claims, among others. For more information you can contact us at 305-358-4500 or send us an email to and let’s discuss how we might be able to assist you.

Posted in

The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale