published Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Cleveland doctor facing fraud charges; indictment details $7.5 million Medicare scam

Raymond Sean Brown, a 44-year-old doctor in Cleveland, Tenn., has been indicted on 35 charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, health care fraud and money laundering after federal prosecutors accused him of racking up $7.5 million in Medicare reimbursements for 17,766 Botox injections he never gave.

A federal grand jury in Chattanooga handed down the indictment this week.

Brown's attorney, Chattanooga-based Jerry Summers, said Friday that Brown will plead innocent when the time comes.

"There's a genuine dispute between us and the government as to whether he's done anything improper," Summers said. "We don't think he's guilty of the charges."

The charges include allegations that Brown billed Medicare nearly $7.5 million for 17,766 Botox injections, but that he purchased only 254 vials of non-FDA approved Botox during the time of the bills. Sending bills electronically and receiving checks in the mail are elements of the fraud counts.

Nearly $6.8 million has been seized from Brown's personal bank accounts at Athens Federal Community Bank and the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union.

Federal prosecutors also said Brown made payments of $58,519 and $78,851 to two car dealerships from his TVFCU account.

Summers said the dispute is an "accounting" one between Brown and the U.S. government.

Brown goes to court Tuesday for arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Lee.

Brown could face a money judgment of not less than $7.4 million if convicted, a news release from U.S. Attorney Bill Killian's office stated.

He also could face a 20-year prison sentence for each count of wire and mail fraud. Each count of health care fraud and money laundering could carry a 10-year sentence. An additional $250,000 fine per charge could be tacked on.

Summers maintained Friday that Brown is not guilty and said the doctor has received hundreds of support letters.

"Who the government chooses to prosecute, that's their business," Summers said. "We don't believe Dr. Brown had any intention to violate the law."

Contact staff writer Alex Green at agreen@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6731.

about Alex Green...

Alex joined the Times Free Press staff full-time in January 2014 as a region business reporter. He is a native of Dayton, Tenn., located 35 miles north of Chattanooga, and he is a fifth-generation Dayton native. Alex came to the Times Free Press as an editorial intern in July 2013. He was previously a correspondent at The Herald-News, located in Dayton, through college and editor-in-chief of the Triangle, Bryan College's student-led media group. Alex was ...

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