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Florida lab owner charged in $53M health care fraud, kickback scheme related to genetic cancer screening tests

NEW JERSEY – A Florida lab owner has been charged with over $50 million in health care fraud related to fraudulent genetic cancer screening tests, according to Attorney for the United States Lee M. Cortes Jr.

Daniel Hurt, 48, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. He had his initial appearance and arraignment by videoconference Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court, Cortes said.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Hurt owned several clinical laboratories that conducted or arranged for a variety of medical tests. Hurt paid kickbacks and bribes to various entities who supplied referrals and orders for genetic cancer screening tests (CGX) for Medicare and other health care benefit program beneficiaries, without regard to medical necessity.

The laboratories submitted claims for payment to Medicare for these CGX tests. Medicare reimbursed the laboratories without knowing that the services were not medically necessary or were procured through the payment of kickbacks.

From January 2019 to October 2021,Hurt, through the laboratories, submitted or caused to be submitted approximately 350,000 claims to Medicare, including approximately 8,700 claims for beneficiaries residing in New Jersey.

Hurt paid kickbacks to entities who supplied referrals for each CGX test that was billed to Medicare and other health care benefit programs. To conceal the payments of bribes, Hurt and the suppliers entered into sham contracts to make it appear that the suppliers were engaged in, and being paid for, legitimate marketing and referral services. The scheme resulted in Medicare paying the laboratories at least $53.3 million for CGX test claims. Hurt received at least $26.9 million from the Medicare reimbursements.

The count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud carries a maximum potential punishment of 10 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000, Cortes said.

Hurt has also been charged in the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Southern District of Florida in relation to other health care offenses. Those charges are also pending.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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