Fort Myers doctor pleads guilty, will pay $2.8M in kickback case

Published: Updated:

A 46-year-old doctor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to receive health care kickbacks, the Department of Justice said Monday.

Dr. Michael Frey, M.D. pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to receive health care kickbacks, according to the Department of Justice. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, as well as a term of supervised release of up to six years. A sentencing date has not been set.

Dr. Frey will also pay $2.8 million to the United States as part of a civil settlement to resolve the allegations he violated the False Claims Act through receiving kickbacks and ordering medically unnecessary laboratory tests, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

“Dr. Frey’s fate shows, yet again, that those intent on stealing from government health programs will be held accountable,” said Shimon R. Richmond, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service.

Dr. Frey was a practicing pain management specialist a co-owner of Advanced Pain Management Specialist, P.A., in Fort Myers, the Department of Justice said.

Dr. Frey was accused of conspiring with the owners of A&G Spinal Solutions, LLC —a medical equipment provider in Fort Myers— to receive compensation in exchange for referrals starting in 2010, according to the Department of Justice.

Dr. Frey was allegedly paid a percentage of A&G Spinal’s profits due to referrals, the Department of Justice said. A&G Spinal then gave checks made payable to his wife, Mrs. Frey — who was not an employee of A&G Spinal, but the agreement said the company made it appear she was an employee.

Dr. Frey also received cash payments between 2013 and 2015 from Ryan Williamson in exchange for referrals of compound pain cream prescriptions, according to the Department of Justice. Williamson and William Pierce have since pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay health care kickbacks to Dr. Fray, and have yet to be sentenced.

Dr. Frey also admitted to receiving kickbacks through speaker fees paid to him through an event program within Insys Therapeutics, Inc., according to his plea agreement.

“Insys manufactures a fentanyl sublingual spray known as SUBSYS,” according to the plea agreement. “Insys paid kickbacks to Dr. Frey to induce him to write prescriptions for their product.”

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.