Aents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation early Wednesday raided a medical-supply company in Boca Raton with ties to Daniel Porush, a man who helped inspire a character depicted in the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
The company, Med-Care Diabetes & Medical Supplies Inc., is run by Dr. Steven Silverman and was the subject of a 2013 U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing for possible Medicare fraud, according to records.
James Marshall, a spokesman for the bureau, confirmed that the FBI was “conducting law enforcement activity,” but declined to provide any more information.
Office of the Inspector General spokesman Don White said members of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were involved in the activity as well.
White declined further comment, but said the inspector general’s mission is to fight waste, fraud and abuse in Health and Human Services programs, which include Medicare and Medicaid.
In a statement provided by the company’s attorney, Justin Weddle, officials said they were working with federal agents and have “nothing to hide.”
“Med-Care Diabetic & Medical Supplies, Inc. has always been fully transparent in cooperating with regulatory or governmental inquiries that it receives,” the statement reads. “This inquiry is no different.”
According to business filings and records, Porush’s wife, Lisa, is the vice president of Med-Care Diabetes & Medical Supplies Inc. Records show Porush’s company, Christian Diabetic Network, was in the same office as Med-Care Diabetes & Medical Supplies Inc.
According to reports, Porush was a business partner at Stratton Oakmont Inc. with Jordan Belfort, who was portrayed by actor Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
Porush was portrayed by actor Jonah Hill, whose character was named Donnie Azoff in the movie loosely based on actual events. Both Porush and Belfort were convicted of stock fraud and served federal prison time.
Med-Care Diabetes & Medical Supplies Inc. was founded in 1999, according to the company’s website. In a Sun Sentinel article from August 2014, Silverman said the company netted just under $100 million in revenue in 2013.
In 2013, a U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight examined a sample of the company’s Medicare claims after a whistleblower accused the company of fraud and told U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
The company was accused of soliciting patients on Medicare for medical equipment they did not need, according to hearing testimony. McCaskill called the company’s sales tactics “aggressive.”
An audit by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services showed 400 claims of a sample of 590 claims by the company were “improper” and the company received $146,689 in overpayments.
At the subcommittee hearing in April 2013, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services analysts estimated the real amount for overpayments received by Med-Care Diabetes & Medical Supplies Inc., was in the millions.
Silverman said in a letter dated March 2014 to McCaskill that only about 5 percent of the businesses’ sales were initiated by physicians, though all orders made were authorized by physicians.
After the hearings, the Senate suggested stronger oversight over Medicaid and Medicare billing.
The company is also being sued by a former employee.
Tiffany Bumbury filed a whistleblower lawsuit in 2010, alleging the company participated in illegal marketing techniques and were billing for unnecessary medical devices, according to the lawsuit. Bumbury worked as a telemarketer for the company.
Bumbury’s attorney, Robert Nicholson, declined to comment when reached by phone.
A federal judge granted a motion to dismiss the case in June 2014, according to court records. The next month lawyers filed an amended complaint.
On Dec. 23, Federal Judge Kenneth Ryskamp partly denied a motion from the company to toss the lawsuit, which is still pending.
In that suit, Bumbury lists Med-Care Diabetes & Medical Supplies Inc. as a defendant, as well as Silverman and Porush individually.
On Wednesday, officials declined to say whether anyone was arrested in connection to the law enforcement activity.