So what was Brown's take? "The exact amount has not yet been made public," says Crosby. What is known, is that "Brown caused over $2.9 million to be billed to healthcare benefit programs, and over $1.2 million to be paid out by them."
Brian D. Lamkin, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Atlanta field office, said in a statement that Brown's conduct "not only displayed a total disregard for the patients that he was improperly and illegally treating, but also for those individuals who could have legitimately benefitted from the federal Medicaid/Medicare funds."
Brown' was finally apprehended in an undercover sting that resulted from his own quest for even more money, authorities say. He pleaded guilty to 17 counts of healthcare fraud, each with a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of $250,000. And he also pleaded guilty to wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information, in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Real physicians, especially those in the allergy field, are upset by the scam. "I find it particularly disturbing that any physician would allow someone with questionable medical credentials to provide care, much less specialist level care, for their patients," John Overholt, MD, of the Allergy & Asthma Associates of Middle Tennessee wrote on his web site.
"This is a clear case of greed outweighing the best interest of the patients."