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Caught In Fraud

Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

According to his lawyers, Mark Sorenson got caught in the healthcare fraud scheme. But caught where exactly? Like maybe he didn’t mean to bill Medicare for $87 million dollars in fraudulent knee braces? Like maybe he didn’t mean to dole out millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks to rope in unsuspecting patients for unnecessary medical equipment? Is there any single word used more by someone who is always looking for an excuse than the word “caught?” Because anyone who pocketed millions of dollars while pocketing millions of dollars at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer, wasn’t really caught in the scheme. Although, now Sorenson is really caught and is facing almost four years in jail for Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

Sorenson owned a durable medical equipment (DME) pharmacy called Symed. Between 2015 and 2018, Sorensen made kickback and bribe payments to a patient lead broker in return for referrals of signed DME prescriptions to beef up patient leads. Sorensen submitted these fraudulent leads to Medicare and TRICARE for payment of DME’s that were never prescribed. Sorensen decided which braces these patients would receive based on profitability of the brace. And Sorensen tricked and pursued patients into accepting medical braces whether or not they wanted them. Many times, patients received braces that they did not need and sometimes actually received four, five, or six braces. In total, Symed received a $23.6 million from Medicare and Medicaid in the scheme Sorenson was “caught” in.

Twenty individuals were indicted for their alleged involvement in this Medicare fraud scheme resulting in $144.8 million in illegitimate billings. Despite being “caught”, Sorenson was responsible for over half of those illegitimate billings. On March 28, 2024, Sorenson was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
Outstanding job by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force (MFSF), which is part of a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Chicago Business Owner Sentenced to 3.5 Years for $87M Medicare Fraud Scheme” published by Hoodline Chicago on March 29, 2024.

Chicago business owner Mark Sorensen was hit with a three-and-a-half-year prison stint yesterday for his role in a crooked $87 million healthcare fraud scheme.

The 53-year-old owner of Symed Inc., a durable medical equipment company, got caught in a conspiratorial web that involved doling out illegal kickbacks to rope in unsuspecting patients for unnecessary medical equipment, making off with a cool $23.6 million from Medicare and other programs in the process. According to the Justice Department, Sorensen and his cohorts tricked and aggressively pursued patients into accepting medical braces they neither needed nor wanted.

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