Telemedicine and telemarketing business leader in Florida pleads guilty and is convicted.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to a surge in the use of telemedicine. In fact, a recent study found that the number of telemedicine visits increased by more than 4,000% in the first quarter of 2020. This was due largely to how it can more readily help people with COVID-19 symptoms get the care they need from home. Telemedicine can also help to ease the burden on the healthcare system during such a difficult time. Hospitals and other medical facilities are overburdened by an uptick of severe cases and it’s important to find other avenues of care for those who can be at home.
Unfortunately, with all the good telemedicine has been able to offer in recent years, there are con artists looking to take advantage of its growing popularity. Marc Sporn, 59, of Delray Beach, Florida, is one such criminal. Sporn, owner of several telemedicine and telemarketing companies, was sentenced today to 14 years in prison this month for tax evasion, health care fraud and wire fraud that cost Medicare more than $20 million dollars, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Court records show Sporn owned and CPL Media Group Inc. Medipak, LLC, Real Time Physicians LLC, 24 HR Virtual MD LLC, Medtech Worldwide Inc., New World Holdings Inc., and Ins Cov LLC. These services were popular all over the state. He used his companies to “market medically unnecessary genetic tests to Medicare beneficiaries, and to sell prescriptions for medically unnecessary genetic tests to laboratories in exchange for kickbacks and bribes.” Sporn used these lab orders to bill Medicare to pay out thousands of dollars for his scheme.
Sporn also operated Palm Beach companies Medi Biotech LLC and Walmol Holdings LLC and he used Medi Biotech to market compounded prescription creams to individuals with specific health conditions. Pharmacies and laboratories associated with Medi Biotech filled these, billed insurance companies, and paid Sporn kickbacks.
Sporn also opened accounts in the name of Walmol Holdings, a sham corporation, and in 2014 and 2015, this allowed him to avoid paying over $1.6 million in personal income taxes. Sporn used the accounts he opened to purchase luxury items such as high-end watches, diamond jewelry, classic and exotic cars, two yachts, and other items. Simultaneously, he failed to pay over $2.5 million in income taxes for other years as well dating back to 2000. the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) attempted to collect, investigators say he “tried to conceal assets by transferring property to trusts and individuals and by repeatedly opening and closing companies.”
Sporn took a plea agreement on April 1, 2022. He pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and federal tax evasion. He forfeited “ill-gotten gains” and pledged to help prosecutors obtain convictions against his former business associates. In addition to the prison term, Sporn was ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution to the IRS.