Former Florida football actor convicted of $20 million medical rascal conspiracy

Monty Grow, a former University of Florida and NFL actor who done a tiny happening offered curative drugs, took a surprising step of testifying in his conference on charges of shop-lifting millions from a sovereign module that provides medical word for a U.S. military.

The 46-year-old Grow was strike again and again with questions by a sovereign prosecutor about receiving and profitable kickbacks to measure remunerative studious referrals for a vital South Florida pharmacy.

“You were radically shopping and offered patients for a pharmacy?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon Juenger pulpy Grow.

“No, we was not,” he pronounced calmly.

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On Monday, a dozen Miami sovereign jurors found that they did not trust him.

The jury unanimously convicted Grow of a medical rascal swindling for bilking $20 million from a TRICARE module for troops members, veterans and their families. He was also convicted of conspiring to accept and compensate kickbacks for referring hundreds of troops beneficiaries to a Pompano Beach-based pharmacy, Patient Care America, as good as of income laundering. But Grow, who remained stoic while a guilty verdicts were read, was clear of countless other associated charges.

U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno systematic that Grow, who lives in Tampa, be taken into control immediately by U.S. marshals since of a volume of income concerned in a medical rascal case. He faces adult to 20 years in jail during his sentencing conference on Apr 16.

The jury, that was given instructions on kickbacks and other authorised issues by Moreno during a finish of a six-day trial, had to confirm either Grow intentionally defrauded a supervision module or was simply paid intemperate yet legitimate commissions by a pharmacy for referring a TRICARE patients.

“We are unhappy with a verdict,” Grow’s invulnerability attorneys, Daniel Rashbaum and Jeffrey Marcus, said. “We consider that a exculpation on some-more than half of a depends after 4 days of regard is unsuitable with a outcome and creates small sense. We will continue to quarrel for Mr. Grow, who is an trusting man.”

Grow was indicted in a 49-count complaint of employing an eccentric selling group — including former University of Florida star and late NFL quarterback Shane Matthews — in a swindling to fleece a TRICARE program.

Last week, Matthews, 47, who played with a Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins and other teams over a 14-year pro career, was condemned to 3 months in jail for his bit purpose operative for Grow’s selling company. Matthews was paid $440,000 for backing adult sales member who afterwards landed TRICARE patients for a pharmacy.

Grow and his network of sales member referred about 700 patients to Patient Care America, that perceived $40 million from a supervision module for provision dear pain and injure creams along with wellness vitamins between 2014 and 2015. For those referrals, PCA paid half of those sovereign reimbursements to Grow underneath a agreement agreement. With his cut of a taxpayer funds, Grow kept $10 million for himself and paid out a rest in kickbacks to his selling associates who recruited TRICARE patients. The sales member acted as eccentric contractors, same to Avon or Mary Kay reps.

Eventually, Grow himself went from being an eccentric executive to a full-time worker for Patient Care America, that factored into his acquittals on countless kickback charges.

At trial, prosecutors pronounced many of a troops members who were referred by his selling network to Patient Care America did not need a dear compounds, that are specifically churned drugs distinct standard blurb drugs. Many usually concluded to buy a devalue drugs since Grow and his sales group paid kickbacks to a patients, who also referred other family members to a pharmacy. Prosecutors pronounced Grow’s group lonesome patients’ dear co-payments for a creams and vitamins. One sales deputy even paid her fast of patients $1,000 any for stuffing out a patron consult after receiving their drugs from a pharmacy.

The 2016 complaint accusing Grow of conspiracy, fraud, kickbacks and income laundering did not assign Patient Care America or any of a tip executives — yet prosecutors described them during conference as “unindicted co-conspirators.”

Throughout a trial, prosecutors portrayed Grow as a crafty salesman driven by fervour who knew he was violation a law while he pocketed $13,500 for any of a patients that his selling association referred to a Broward County pharmacy. He owns a Tampa waterfront home, a Range Rover, a Porsche 911 and has millions in an e-trade batch marketplace account.

“This was a pyramid scheme,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Larsen told a 12-person jury during shutting arguments final week. “He took advantage of these folks and he done millions. … The bottom line is, these people sealed adult since they were paid [kickbacks].”

Grow’s invulnerability attorneys, Rashbaum and Marcus, decorated a former football actor as a lawful, successful businessman whose NFL career as a cornerback was cut brief by damage in 1996 after personification for a Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars. They pronounced he began a selling career in a margin of devalue pharmacies and after pennyless out on his possess with a Tampa association called MGTEN — his initials and jersey series as a ballplayer.

The invulnerability argued that Grow set adult his network of sales member to hoop hundreds of TRICARE patients and arrange for them to see doctors by “telemedicine” companies. Grow paid a physicians for legitimate consultations, and they authorized a immeasurable infancy of prescriptions for a devalue drugs supposing by Patient Care America. The invulnerability also pronounced Grow paid his eccentric contractors “commissions” — not kickbacks — for anticipating a TRICARE patients.

At trial, a invulnerability attorneys played a sovereign clandestine phone recording from early 2016 in that one of Grow’s former sales member voiced her regard about a inlet of his company’s studious referrals to a compounding pharmacy and that Department of Defense rapist agents had questioned her about it. Grow, unknowingly that a sales repute was auxiliary with investigators and that he was being available in a phone conversation, pronounced zero to implicate himself in a suspected wrong scheme.

“We didn’t intentionally do it,” he told a sales repute on a recording. “We didn’t do it on purpose.”

After a recording was played for jurors, Rashbaum asked his client: “As we lay here today, did we ever try to mangle any law?”

Grow’s response: “No, we did not.”

During shutting arguments, Rashbaum pronounced countless emails, content messages and other papers showed that Grow acted rightly in traffic with a TRICARE patients, sales representatives, telemedicine companies and a Pompano Beach compounding pharmacy. He regularly told jurors that a “document doesn’t have a ground to lie,” arguing that nothing submitted by a pharmacy to TRICARE were false.

Grow stood conference alone since an associate with whom he common a kickbacks for a studious referrals pleaded guilty in early Jan to a swindling to dedicate medical fraud. Ginger Lay faces adult to 10 years in jail yet could accept reduction time for testifying opposite her former boss.

In his shutting argument, Rashbaum indicted Lay, who is from Mississippi, of fibbing on a declare mount about being educated by Grow to change prescriptions and compensate patients’ co-payments. He also pronounced it was her thought alone to emanate a intrigue to compensate $1,000 to any TRICARE studious who filled out a patron survey.

Grow testified he had no thought about Lay’s consult program. Grow pronounced when he schooled about her doing it, he discussed a problem with Patient Care America executives. Then he systematic her to stop a consult and payments. When Lay asked Grow in a content summary about profitable patients in Apr 2015, he responded: “I wouldn’t be profitable anyone.”

In reduction than a year of operative as a sales executive for Grow, Lay done $6 million in commissions from his company, yet prosecutors contend they were kickbacks for her TRICARE studious referrals to a Broward pharmacy. TRICARE eventually stopped reimbursing Patient Care America and other pharmacies around a nation since of debate over a dear compounding program.

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