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Bettendorf Doctor Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud
DAVENPORT, IA – On August 22, 2017, Dr. Paul Matthew Bolger, 45, of Bettendorf, Iowa, pleaded guilty to 18 counts of false statements relating to health care matters and five counts of introduction of misbranded drugs. He also pleaded guilty to one count of false statements relating to health care matters for conduct occurring in California and transferred from the Central District of California to the Southern District of Iowa, announced United States Attorney Kevin E. VanderSchel. Bolger will be sentenced by Chief United States District Court Judge John A. Jarvey on January 9, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. at the Davenport Federal Courthouse.
Bolger knowingly and willfully made false statements by signing multiple prescription forms authorizing prescription drugs and indicating prescriptions were medically necessary. Bolger signed and attested to the validity of each prescription based only on an intake form recorded by non-medical staff (generated by call centers outside of the United States), and an accompanying prescription form. Bolger signed each of the prescription forms without talking to the patient, conducting a physical examination, or reviewing medical records. These signed prescription forms were then faxed to DCRX, a Florida pharmacy; or Haoeyou, a California pharmacy; the pharmacies filled the prescriptions, mailed them to the patients, and billed Tricare. Tricare is a federal health care benefit program providing medical care for U.S. military members and their dependents. Tricare reimbursed the pharmacies for the fraudulent compounded medication prescriptions.
Bolger authorized a total of 1,375 prescriptions for compounded medications from March through April of 2015. Based on 284 patients and 763 prescriptions Bolger authorized and filled by DCRX, Tricare paid approximately $2,920,354. Based on 32 patients and 112 similar prescriptions filled by Haoeyou (or its designee), Tricare paid approximately $566,836.
Bolger additionally wrote prescriptions for patients in 16 states where he was not licensed and misbranded those prescriptions. Bolger issued misbranded prescriptions for 11 Alabama patients, costing Tricare $268,000. Approximately 105 patients, located in states where he was licensed, received prescriptions authorized by Bolger, costing Tricare approximately $681,000.
The maximum penalty for counts related to false statements is five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a special assessment of $100 per count. The maximum penalty for misbranding charges is one year in prison, a $100,000 fine, one year of supervised release, and a special assessment of $25 per count. Bolger agreed to pay at least $10,000 in restitution to Tricare.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Defense conducted the investigation. This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa and the Central District of California.