Former Georgia Insurance Commissioner Oxendine Charged

ATLANTA (AP) — A former Georgia insurance commissioner has been indicted on federal charges related to an alleged health care plan.

A federal grand jury indicted John Oxendine on Tuesday on conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to launder money. He pleaded not guilty in an initial court appearance on Friday, according to online court records.

“The indictment alleges that Oxendine conspired to obtain bribes for unnecessary genetic and toxicology lab tests, and used his insurance business to hide those bribes,” he said. said U.S. Attorney Ryan Buchanan in a press release. “Patients go to their health care provider for treatment in the hope that their treatment or test is needed, not a fraud scam.”

Prosecutors say Oxendine conspired with Dr. Jeffrey Gallups and others to submit fraudulent insurance claims for medically unnecessary lab tests to a Texas lab. The lab company, Oxendine and Gallups, has reached an agreement for the company to pay Gallups a bribe of 50% of the profit for specimens submitted by the Gallups practice for testing, the deed says. charge. The lab company paid the bribes through Oxendine, which kept some of the money for itself and also used some to pay off some Gallups debts, according to the report. indictment.

The lab company has submitted claims of more than $2.5 million for lab tests ordered by the Gallups firm, and insurance companies have paid the lab company more than $600,000 for those claims , prosecutors said. The lab company then paid $260,000 in bribes through Oxendine’s insurance business, prosecutors said. Oxendine then paid a $150,000 charitable contribution and $70,000 in attorney fees for Gallups, prosecutors said.

Gallups was charged with health care fraud last year and pleaded guilty in October. It is expected to be scheduled next month, according to court records.

Oxendine’s defense attorneys, Drew Findling and Marissa Goldberg, said in an emailed statement that Oxendine “has been targeted in this investigation because of his name and his seriousness, but to be clear, he broke no law and is innocent of this indictment.”

Oxendine served as the state’s insurance commissioner from 1995 to 2011. He ran for governor in 2010 but lost the Republican primary.

The state Ethics Commission began investigating and prosecuting the campaign finance cases against him in 2009 and settled the last of those cases earlier this month, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.