Plea Negotiations Push Health Care Fraud Trial To 2019
September 25, 2018
A Fenton Township doctor facing federal health care fraud charges won’t go to trial until almost a year from now.
A grand jury indictment was unsealed last month in U.S. District Court in Detroit against Dr. April Tyler, Patrick Wittbrodt and Jeffrey Fillmore. The three face one count of attempt and conspiracy to commit fraud and 17 counts of health care fraud. Fillmore is also charged with money laundering. A trial date had been set for October, but court records indicate it is now set for August 5th of 2019 as both sides try to work out a plea deal.
Tyler is an osteopathic physician who owns and operates Fenton Creative Healthcare on North Long Lake Road, while Wittbrodt and Fillmore both worked out of the clinic selling compounded creams and other services. The indictment alleges the three executed a scheme to defraud Medicare and other health insurers by submitting or causing others to submit false claims for prescription pain creams, scar creams, pain patches and vitamins authorized by Dr. Tyler.
Authorities say Fillmore had acquaintances and personal contacts with the UAW through his job and various family members, while Wittbrodt had business connections with multiple pharmacies which he used to receive kickbacks for directing prescriptions to them. The three allegedly scheduled time at various UAW meetings to tout the products. Dr. Tyler is accused of authorizing the prescriptions without a valid doctor patient relationship including physical exam or corresponding office visit.
If convicted, the trio faces up to ten years in prison on the felony counts, which each carry fines of up to $250,000. (JK)