Bowling Green Physician Charged with Conspiracy to Dispense Controlled Substances, Health Care Fraud, and Money Laundering
BOWLING GREEN, KY—Acting U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr. today announced the indictment of former Warren County, Kentucky, physician Charles Fred Gott on charges of conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances during the course of his professional practice that were not for a legitimate medical purpose, health care fraud, and money laundering.
Gott, age 63, a formerly licensed physician in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, was indicted by grand jury in Bowling Green on June 10, 2015. The indictment was unsealed following his arrest this morning in Nashville, Tennessee, and initial appearance on the charges before Magistrate Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl in Bowling Green.
According to the 14 count indictment, the alleged criminal activity occurred between 2006 and September 19, 2013, in Warren County, Kentucky.
Gott is charged with a single count of conspiring with others to knowingly and intentionally distribute and dispense, not for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice, Schedule II, Schedule III and Schedule IV controlled substances. Included are nine counts of unlawfully dispensing Methadone and Fentanyl—Schedule II controlled substances and one count of unlawfully dispensing Hydrocodone—a Schedule III controlled substance.
Further, during the same time period, Gott is charged with executing a scheme to falsely and fraudulently bill various health care benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, by submitting claims for office visits at a higher code than the service actually provided to patients under his care. Also, Gott is charged with directing staff members to provide medically unnecessary spirometry tests to patients, and to falsely and fraudulently bill various health care benefit programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Anthem, among others, by submitting claims for medically unnecessary spirometry tests, for patients. A spirometry test assess lung function in the diagnosis of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions that affect breathing.
Gott also is charged with one count of money laundering for transferring $14,000 to a Merrill Lynch investment account, on March 22, 2012, which was allegedly derived from unlawful activity, that is the unlawful drug distribution and health care fraud alleged in Counts 1 and 13.
Gott is further subject to forfeiture to the United States government, any and all proceeds derived from unlawful activity as a result of the offenses alleged in the indictment and the forfeiture of Gott’s license to practice medicine.
If convicted at trial, Gott faces no more than 20 years in prison, per count, for counts 1-10, no more than 10 years in prison, per count, for counts 11-14, no less than three years of supervised release, and a $12,000,000 fine. Gott is scheduled for arraignment on June 24, 2015, at 10 a.m. in Bowling Green.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mac Shannon, Lettricea Jefferson-Webb and Joseph Ansari. This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Diversion Section, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Warren County Drug Task Force, Kentucky State Police, Office of the Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).