Former Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine denies knowingly being involved in any fraud scheme and has moved to have the criminal charges brought against him dismissed.
A November 4 defense filing in federal court in Atlanta claims that the indictment against Oxendine does not allege any criminal knowledge or intent on his part. It further asserts that the claims are time-barred.
Oxendine was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering between 2015 and 2017 by a federal grand jury on May 17, 2022. He pleaded not guilty in an initial court appearance.
Oxendine served as state insurance commissioner from 1995 to 2011, before the alleged conspiracy.
In formally seeking dismissal of the charges, Atlanta attorneys Drew Findling and Marissa Goldberg argue that the healthcare fraud statute carries with it a “heightened burden of intent” that has not been met. According to the defense lawyers, the indictment fails to allege that Oxendine had any knowledge that the medical claims being submitted were false, and it fails to specifically allege how Oxendine’s presence at a meeting in Dallas led him to knowingly take part in a criminal conspiracy.
“[T]he indictment vaguely outlines conduct which allegedly constitutes conspiracy to commit health care fraud – but entirely fails to allege any element of knowledge on the part of Mr. Oxendine. Rather, the indictment alleges acts, which otherwise are not violations of law, in hopes that the cumulative effect casts a shadow of culpability upon Mr. Oxendine,” his lawyers wrote.
The defense further argues that the charges are beyond the five-year statute of limitations, which means some overt act must have occurred on or after May 17, 2017. The indictment lists one act during that time – a $42 check paid to Oxendine Insurance Services— but all other acts alleged in the indictment occurred outside of the five year limitations period. “While attempting to bootstrap the entire case onto this one check, the indictment fails to allege that the $42 check was actually a profit of the alleged healthcare fraud and that Mr. Oxendine knew it was a profit of such,” the defense claims.
According to information presented to the court, Oxendine allegedly conspired with Dr. Jeffrey Gallups and others to submit fraudulent insurance claims for medically unnecessary testing. As part of the alleged scheme, a Texas lab company agreed to pay Oxendine and Gallups a kickback of 50% of the net profit. In total, the lab company submitted claims for more than $2,500,000 for lab tests ordered by Gallups’s practice, according to prosecutors, who claim that insurance companies paid more than $600,000 as a result of these claims. The lab company then allegedly paid $260,000 in kickbacks through Oxendine’s insurance services business.
At the time of the indictment, Oxendine’s attorneys told Insurance Journal that their client was “targeted in this investigation because of his name and gravitas, but to be clear, he has not broken any laws and is innocent of this indictment.”
Gallups previously pleaded guilty to health care fraud and was sentenced to 36 months in jail in June.
Oxendine, who ran for governor in 2010 but lost the Republican primary, was investigated by the state ethics commission over his campaign finances in 2009 and settled the last of those cases this past May, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Top Photo: Republican gubernatorial hopeful John Oxendine talks to reporters before polls finish reporting results on primary election night, in Atlanta, Tuesday July 20, 2010. (AP Photo/John Amis)
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