Polk County Doctor Pleads Guilty To Receiving Kickbacks

The United States Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida, November 18, 2022

Tampa, Florida –United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Dr. Sean Patrick O’Rourke (56, Lakeland) has pleaded guilty to soliciting and receiving remuneration (kickbacks and bribes) in return for ordering medical services and items paid for by a federal health care program. O’Rourke faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The defendant also agreed to forfeit $31,075, traceable to proceeds of the offense. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to court documents, O’Rourke, a licensed medical doctor, entered into an illegal agreement in 2018 with Company #1 in which Company #1 would make available to O’Rourke completed doctors’ orders for Medicare and CHAMPVA patient-beneficiaries via an internet-based platform. O’Rourke would then access the platform, open the completed orders, and electronically sign the orders, in exchange for a payment of $25 per patient-beneficiary. Notably, the system platform did not permit O’Rourke to add or modify any information in the already completed orders other than to input his authorizing electronic signature.         

As just one example, in or around May 2019, O’Rourke received a payment of $5,500 from an entity associated with Company #1 for electronically signing and ordering cancer genomic tests and durable medical equipment for multiple Medicare beneficiaries. O’Rourke had no interaction with any of the Medicare beneficiaries prior to ordering the tests and equipment. In all, from September 2018 through March 2020, pursuant to the illegal agreement, O’Rourke ordered tests and equipment for approximately 1,243 Medicare and CHAMPVA beneficiaries for which he was paid approximately $31,075. Consequently, the Medicare program paid approximately $2,702,150 to various Medicare providers for the tests and equipment ordered by O’Rourke.  

This case was investigated by the U.S. Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay G. Trezevant. Assistant United States Attorney James A. Muench is handling the asset forfeiture aspect of this case.

News article: https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/polk-county-doctor-pleads-guilty-receiving-kickbacks