Former Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine knowingly denies involvement in any fraud scheme and has moved to have the criminal charges brought against him dismissed.
A Nov. 4 defense brief in federal court in Atlanta claims that the indictment against Oxendine alleges no criminal knowledge or intent on his part. It further asserts that the claims are time-barred.
Oxendine was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering between 2015 and 2017 by a federal grand jury on May 17, 2022. He pleaded not guilty in an initial court appearance.
Oxendine served as state insurance commissioner from 1995 to 2011, before the alleged conspiracy.
In formally dismissing the charges, Atlanta attorneys Drew Findling and Marissa Goldberg argue that the health care fraud law carries a “heightened burden of intent” that was not met. According to the defense attorneys, the indictment fails to allege that Oxendine had any knowledge that the medical claims being submitted were false, and it fails to allege specifically how Oxendine’s presence at a meeting in Dallas led him to knowingly ‘ participated in a criminal conspiracy.
“[T]the indictment vaguely outlines conduct alleged to conspire to commit health care fraud – but completely fails to establish any element of knowledge on the part of mr. Oxendine to claim. Rather, the indictment alleges acts, which are otherwise not violations of the law, in the hope that the cumulative effect will cast a shadow of guilt on Mr. Oxendine shed,” his lawyers wrote.
The defense further argues that the charges are beyond the five-year statute of limitations, meaning that some overt act occurred on or after May 17, 2017. The indictment cites one act during that time — a $42 check paid to Oxendine Insurance Services — but all other acts alleged in the indictment occurred outside the five-year statute of limitations. “While attempting to pin the entire case on this one check, the indictment fails to allege that the $42 check was actually a profit from the alleged health care fraud and that Mr. Oxendine knew it was a profit from it, ” claims the defense.
According to information presented to the court, Oxendine is alleged to have had an affair with Dr. Jeffrey Gallups and others conspired to submit fraudulent insurance claims for medically unnecessary testing. As part of the alleged scheme, a Texas laboratory company agreed to pay Oxendine and Gallups a refund of 50% of net profits. In total, the lab company submitted claims for more than $2,500,000 for lab tests ordered by Gallups’ practice, according to prosecutors, who allege insurance companies paid more than $600,000 as a result of these claims. The lab company then allegedly paid $260,000 in kickbacks through Oxendine’s insurance services business.
At the time of the indictment, Oxendine’s attorneys told Insurance Journal that their client was “targeted in this investigation because of his name and gravitas, but to be clear, he has broken no laws and is innocent of this charge. “
Gallups previously pleaded guilty to health care fraud and was sentenced to 36 months in prison in June.
Oxendine, who ran for governor in 2010 but lost the Republican primary, was investigated by the state ethics commission over his campaign finances in 2009 and settled the last of those cases this past May, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Top photo: Republican gubernatorial hopeful John Oxendine speaks to reporters before polls finish reporting results on primary election night, Tuesday, July 20, 2010, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
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