After $65 million cream scheme conviction, 2 Cleveland doctors still practicing medicine

Choice MD, where the doctors practiced, is no longer in operation. Image: WTVC

Former ChoiceMD doctors Carl Lindblad and Susan Vergot are still licensed to practice medicine in Tennessee, according to a consent order issued by the Tenseness Department of Health.

Both doctors were found guilty last year in a multi-million dollar healthcare fraud scheme, that involved prescribing unnecessary pain cream to Marines.

The United States Attorney's Office ruled that both doctors"knowingly and intentionally" conspired to defraud the military's healthcare provider TRICARE.

Dr. Lindblad and Dr. Vergot were set to receive a their sentencing from the federal government in March, but their attorney Steven Moore of England Moore & Associates says their sentencing may get delayed because of the recent government shutdown.

Moore says, despite his clients guilty plea they were virtually pawns in the scheme that cost American taxpayers $65 million dollars.

He alleges that Lindblad and Vergot signed prescriptions for a pain cream, at the direction of a clinic nurse who provided "telecare" to Marines living in California.

He says the doctor signed off on nearly 4,500 prescriptions for patients they never treated in person.

Adding "They weren't paying close enough attention to the chart they reviewed to Realize that. 90% of the charts that were coming through, we're coming through from California."

According to the U.S Department of Justice an out-of state pharmacy filled the scripts then bill the U.S. government nearly 15,000 per tube of pain cream.

Steven says the doctors were not aware of the scheme or the price of the medication.

Former ChoiceMD nurse practitioner Candace Michelle Craven also pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud in November of 2018.

She continues to practice medicine as she awaits a sentencing date.

The owners of ChoiceMD, Jimmy and Ashley Collins, were indicted for the same charge in March of last year.


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