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Jimmy and Ashley Collins, the husband-and-wife owners of a Tennessee medical practice have pleaded guilty to charges that they used Marines and sailors in San Diego County as pawns in a nearly $66 million medical insurance scheme. They are the last members of the major conspiracy to plead guilty.

The married couple living in Birchwood, admitting that they worked with others to recruit TRICARE beneficiaries who were willing to sign up to receive expensive compounded medications, even though the beneficiaries did not really need the medications.

The beneficiaries’ information was sent to Choice MD, a Tennessee medical clinic co-owned and operated by the Collinses. Doctors and medical professionals employed by the Collinses at Choice MD, including Dr. Susan Vergot, Dr. Carl Lindblad, and nurse practitioner Candace Craven, then wrote prescriptions for the TRICARE beneficiaries, despite never conducting a medical review or examination of the patients in person.

Once signed by the doctors, these prescriptions were not given to the straw beneficiaries, but sent directly to The Medicine Shoppe, a pharmacy in Bountiful, Utah, which filled the prescriptions and received massive reimbursement from TRICARE.

Between December 2014 and May 9, 2015 – the day that TRICARE stopped reimbursing for compounded medications – the doctors working for the Collinses at Choice MD authorized 4,442 prescriptions and billed TRICARE $65,679,512 for these prescriptions.

The owners of The Medicine Shoppe then paid kickbacks to the Collinses based on a percentage of the TRICARE reimbursement paid for the prescriptions referred by the Collinses’ recruiter network. Between February and July 2015, these kickback payments to the Collinses totaled at least $45.7 million dollars.

The Collinses, in turn, paid kickbacks to the recruiters working as part of their network, including defendants Josh Morgan, Kyle Adams, and Daniel Castro, among others.

The United States has seized property and items purchased by the Collinses and others with the proceeds of the scheme. Included among these items is an 82-foot yacht; multiple luxury vehicles, including two Aston-Martins; a multimillion-dollar investment annuity; dozens of pieces of farm equipment and tractor-trailer trucks; and three pieces of Tennessee real estate.

The Collinses are the last members of the conspiracy to plead guilty. The doctors and nurse practitioner who prescribed these unnecessary prescriptions, the corporate owner of the pharmacy that filled these unneeded prescriptions, and the patient recruiters have all pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and admitted their roles in this fraudulent scheme.

Jimmy and Ashley Collins are scheduled to be sentenced on October 27 at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino.

The two doctors, Susan Vergot and Carl Lindblad, were previously sentenced to 24 and 28 months in custody, respectively. in a San Diego federal court for participating in the health care fraud scheme.