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U.S. Attorney's Office And Federal Partners Receive National Investigation Of The Year Award From The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association

Publication date: 
Monday, November 21, 2022

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee announces that members of its staff and participating federal partners received a national commendation for their work in Operation HealthWrong, a long-term, multi-defendant health care fraud prosecution.  At its annual conference, the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (“NHCAA”) selected Operation HealthWrong as its nationwide Investigation of the Year. 

NHCAA’s mission is to protect and serve the public interest by increasing awareness and improving the detection, investigation, civil and criminal prosecution, and prevention of health care fraud and abuse.  Each year, the organization issues a national award for the Investigation of the Year and recognizes award recipients at its annual training conference.  This year, the successful investigation and prosecutions of multiple defendants arising from Operation HealthWrong received the award. 

Operation HealthWrong, a long-term investigation of a telemarketing and pharmacy scheme, resulted in the indictment of seven individuals (including a medical doctor and two pharmacists) and related organizations they controlled.  All but one of the individuals entered guilty pleas to offenses related to the investigation, and a jury found the remaining defendant, Peter Bolos, guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, mail fraud, and criminal misbranding following a month-long trial last year in the United States District Court in Greeneville, Tennessee.

In May 2022, the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer imposed sentences in the case that ranged from 14 years in federal prison to probation.  The Court also ordered over $100 million in restitution and forfeiture, and the United States recovered over $26 million at or prior to the completion of sentencings.  Additional details about individuals prosecuted, and the sentences imposed, can be found in the following press releases: Bolos sentencing and Bolos defendants sentencing.

NHCAA recognized the following members of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee for their work on the case: former Assistant United States Attorney T.J. Harker, Assistant United States Attorney Mac D. Heavener, Legal Assistants Barbra Pemberton and April Denard, and IT Specialist Brian Brandenburg.

Federal partners receiving recognition included the Department of Justice Consumer Protection Branch (former Assistant Director John Claud and Trial Attorney David Gunn), the United States Department of Health and Hunan Services, Office of Inspector General (Supervisory Special Agent Robert Turner), the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (Special Agent John Lyons), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Special Agent Reanna O’Hare and Financial Analyst LeAnn Lanz), the United States Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations (Special Agent Brian Kriplean), the United States Office of Personnel Management, Office of Inspector General (Supervisory Special Agent Wayne VanVarick), and the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (Special Agent Timothy Jones).


Additional Details
USAO - Tennessee, Eastern;
Department of Homeland Security OIG