US Attorney's Office, Western District of Arkansas, Feb. 28, 2022
FORT SMITH - Both the former owner of a Rogers-based medical supply and billing company and its former chief executive officer have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in three separate conspiracies to defraud the U.S. government and private workers’ compensation insurers: a billing and kickback fraud scheme with multiple physicians and medical clinics, and separate frauds with two Louisiana physicians to ship medications to them from Arkansas and distribute those medications from their clinics in violation of Louisiana laws. Additionally, the former company owner was charged with wire fraud for falsifying emails he provided in a civil lawsuit involving his sale of the company.
A federal grand jury in Fort Smith returned a 12-count indictment, charging Hunter Matthew Burroughs, 42, and Stephen Keith Andrews, 48, each with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and eight counts of wire fraud. Additionally, the indictment charges Burroughs in another wire fraud count.
According to the indictment, Burroughs, who in 2011 founded the Rogers company, and Andrews, who served as the company’s chief executive officer, defrauded both federal and private workers’ compensation insurers in schemes that ran until 2017. The basic premise of the health care fraud scheme was that Burroughs, Andrews, and other individuals associated with the Rogers company recruited physicians to dispense pain creams and patches to their workers’ compensation patients by offering them a split of the profits collected from successfully billing insurers, typically 50 percent. One such physician was Robert Dale Bernauer, Sr., who ran a clinic in Lake Charles, La. Bernauer pleaded guilty to his role in the same conspiracy on July 30, 2021.