Hattiesburg nurse sentenced in health care fraud scheme

Hattiesburg nurse sentenced in health care fraud scheme
Fallon Deneem Page pleaded guilty to mail fraud on Nov. 21, 2019. (Source: Gray News)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A federal judge sentenced a Hattiesburg nurse Wednesday for mail fraud in connection to a multi-million dollar health care fraud scheme.

The U.S. Attorney’s office announced Senior U.S. District Judge Keitih Starrett sentenced 37-year-old Fallon Deneem Page to 18 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.. Page was also ordered to pay $9,500.

Page entered into an agreement with co-defendant Dr. Shahjahan Sultan in August 2014 to locate people with health insurance benefits. Under the agreement, Page would be paid $100 for each referral to Medical Solutions of Ocean Springs, owned by Sultan.

Once Page referred patients, Medical Solutions and an Ocean Springs pharmacy would determine if the patients’ health care insurance would cover the cost of expensive compound medications.

Page and other nurses performed cursory medical examinations for those covered in public places, including parking lots and gas stations. Prosecutors said Page would sometimes falsify some patient assessment responses.

Sultan then prescribed the expensive compound medications to be dispensed by the pharmacy.

On at least one occasion, Page knew that Sultan had not performed a medical assessment of an individual before he prescribed the medications. The medications were shipped via Federal Express to the individual and Sultan was paid 35% of what the pharmacy made from the prescriptions.

The individual’s insurance company paid a total of $34,047 to the pharmacy, despite Sultan not determining any medical necessity for the medication.

A Tennessee doctor, 56-year-old Thomas Edward Sturdavant, and another registered nurse, 55-year-old Freda Cal Covington, were indicted with Sultan and Page in June 2019.

Covington pleaded guilty in October 2019. Page, Sturdavant and Sultan pleaded guilty in November 2019.

Sultan was sentenced on June 16 to four years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay $4,102,634.65 to Express Scripts for the Tricare claims, $582,280.79 to CVS Caremark for and $115,611.03 to Catamaran, as well as a money judgement of more than $2.3 million.

On June 22, Sturdavant was sentenced to two years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He must also pay a monetary judgement of $160,000 and restitution of $1,628,409.

Two days later, Covington was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Copyright 2020 WDAM. All rights reserved.