CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A 44-year-old North Carolina man has plead guilty to conspiracy for his role in a durable medical equipment scheme (DME) that defrauded Medicare of almost $15 million.

Federal authorities say Justin Segrest of Mount Airy was released on bond after his hearing on Thursday.

According to filed documents, from 2018 to 2019, Segrest was a nurse practitioner and was working for a telemedicine company based in Delaware.

During this time, authorities say Segrest caused thousands of claims to be submitted to Medicare for medically unnecessary orthopedic braces and other DME.

As Segrest admitted in court Thursday, he facilitated the scheme by making false claims in medical records to support the fraudulent claims.

Authorities say Segrest did so by signing false medical records describing purported “assessments” of Medicare beneficiaries and certifying that he had performed corresponding medical examinations when, in fact, Segrest had no interaction with the beneficiaries and made no medical determination whether the devices were medically necessary or the beneficiaries needed the DME.

Segrest received from the telemedicine company unsigned orders for orthopedic braces for the beneficiaries, which authorities say he signed and returned to the telemedicine company in exchange for $15 for each purported assessment that he performed.

Through this scheme, Segrest caused the submission of nearly $15 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, according to a news release.

Authorities say the conspiracy charge carries a maximum prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine.

A sentencing date for Segrest has not been set.


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