The South Florida medical supply company raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents this week has ties to the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ movie, according to an FBI spokesman. Investigators raided Med-Care Diabetic and Medical Supply Inc. in Boca Raton this week in connection with a whistleblower lawsuit that claims the company defrauded government healthcare agencies of millions.
Among Med-Care’s top executives is Daniel Porush, who served as a model for Jonah Hill’s character in the ‘Wolf of Wall Street.’ The movie was based on a book written by Jordan Belfort (played in the movie by Leonardo DiCaprio), who was business partners with Porush in a series of investment and telemarketing operations. Belfort and Porush were both imprisoned for their roles in fraud schemes depicted in the book and movie.
When the FBI came to raid Med-Care’s offices, Porush and his wife declined to answer any questions from reporters and drove away in a Rolls-Royce. An attorney for Med-Care said the company is prepared to fully cooperate with investigators.
The whistleblower lawsuit was filed by Tiffany Bumbury, a former employee with a company affiliated with Med-Care Diabetic and Medical Supply Inc. Bumbury claims that Med-Care Diabetic operated call centers where Medicare beneficiaries were contacted and asked about receiving medical equipment that was excessive, unnecessary, or not requested. Occasionally, Med-Care would submit for Medicare reimbursement for equipment that never went to a beneficiary.
Bumbury further claims that workers at these call centers were told to “say whatever they needed to say” in order to get Medicare billing information from beneficiaries and secure a sale. For example, telemarketers would pronounce Med-Care to sound like Medicare, then offer free equipment. They would also claim to be from the ‘Christian Healthcare Network’ or the ‘Christian Diabetic Network’ and tell callers that any proceeds from transactions would be donated to charitable organizations.
According to Fox Business, Medicare paid Med-Care over $84 million between 2009 and 2012 through the alleged scheme.