Miami Doctors Convicted in DME Kickback Scheme

Two Miami doctors, indicted in August 2021 were recently found guilty, after a two-week trial, for their roles in a scheme to defraud Medicare by submitting claims for durable medical equipment (DME) that Medicare beneficiaries did not need.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, chiropractor Dean Zusmer owned one of four DME companies that collectively billed Medicare more than $31 million for medically unnecessary DME, of which more than $15 million was paid. The companies are identified in the indictment as Equilibrium Medical Supply Inc.; Silent Hill Bracing and Orthopedic Supplies, LLC; West Bay Medical Supply, Inc.; and Active Assist DME, lnc.

Zusmer and his co-conspirators, including Jeremy Waxman, acquired referrals and signed doctors’ orders by paying kickbacks to marketers who used overseas call centers to solicit patients and telemedicine companies to obtain prescriptions for unnecessary braces for these patients. 

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lawrence Alexander owned one of the DME companies with Waxman and hid both his and Waxman’s roles in the scheme by putting the DME company in the name of one of Alexander’s family members. 

Zusmer was convicted of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, healthcare fraud, conspiracy to pay illegal healthcare kickbacks, paying illegal healthcare kickbacks, and false statements relating to healthcare matters. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 20 and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each of the following counts: conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud; healthcare fraud; and paying illegal healthcare kickbacks. Zusmer faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for conspiracy to pay illegal healthcare kickbacks and false statements relating to healthcare matters.

Alexander, meantime, was convicted of a lesser charge of making false statements relating to healthcare matters. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 20 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Waxman, who pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud conspiracy and wire fraud, was sentenced earlier to more than 15 years in prison for his role in the scheme.

The others indicted were Ronald Davidovic, the owner of a Broward marketing company, who pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud conspiracy. He was sentenced to almost six years. Umut Vardar, a managing partner of Davidovic’s marketing company, remains at large.

The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale represents healthcare professionals in state and federal court who are charged with fraudulent billing, kickbacks, Medicare and Medicaid fraud and false claims, among others. For more information, contact us at 305-358-4500 or email info@vitalehealthlaw.com.

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