California Telehealth Providers Arrested in Alleged $100 Million Fraud Scheme

California Telehealth Providers Arrested in Alleged $100 Million Fraud Scheme

Suspects in the Adderall scheme "exploited the COVID-19 pandemic," said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. Above, Garland testifies in the House of Representatives on June 4, 2024. (Allison Bailey/Middle East Images via AFP)

Jill McLaughlin
Jill McLaughlin

6/15/2024

Updated: 6/18/2024

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Federal authorities arrested the founder of a California-based digital health company and its clinical president June 13 in connection with an alleged $100 million internet scheme involving improper prescription of Adderall—a medication often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Ruthia He, founder and CEO of Done Global Inc., and David Brody, the company’s clinical president, were arrested on June 13.
“As alleged, these defendants exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to develop and carry out a $100 million scheme to defraud taxpayers and provide easy access to Adderall and other stimulants for no legitimate medical purpose,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement issued June 13.
The defendants allegedly exploited telemedicine rules “that facilitated access to medications during the unprecedented COVID-19 public health emergency,” said Drug Enforcement Administration chief Anne Milgram.
In an email to The Epoch Times on June 18, the company said:
“Done Global strongly disagrees with the criminal charges filed last week against our founder, Ruthia He, and Dr. David Brody, which are based on events that principally occurred between February 2020 and January 2023.
“Since our founding, Done Global has worked to make mental health care accessible for tens of thousands of Americans trapped in a spiraling national crisis. Done Global will continue to operate—and do everything in our power to ensure that tens of thousands of Americans that rely on us do not lose access to their mental health care.
“At the same time, we will continue to support our clinicians as they exercise independent clinical judgment, practice evidence-based medicine, and provide best-in-class health care.”
The indictment alleges that Ms. He and Mr. Brody used the internet to illegally distribute the ADHD drugs and conspired to commit health fraud in exchange for payment of a monthly subscription fee, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Federal authorities allege the two suspects arranged for the prescription of more than 40 million pills of Adderall and other stimulants, generating over $100 million in revenue for the company.
Ms. He and Mr. Brody allegedly got subscribers by targeting drug seekers and spending tens of millions of dollars on “deceptive advertisements on social media networks,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The suspects continued the scheme even after some subscribers had overdosed and died, the authorities allege.
The DOJ alleges the suspects conspired to defraud pharmacies, Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance companies to dispense and pay for Adderall and other stimulants. As a result, Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurers paid more than $14 million, the DOJ alleges.
The charges are the DOJ’s first criminal drug distribution prosecutions related to telemedicine prescribing through a digital health company, according to the department.
If convicted, Ms. He and Mr. Brody each face a maximum of 20 years in prison.
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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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