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Osbon named in fraud lawsuit

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The U.S. Attorney's Office has filed a civil suit against prominent Augusta businessman Julian Osbon and a company he was involved with for allegedly defrauding Medicare of more than $690,000.



Osbon is accused of using Augusta Medical Systems to bill Medicare for thousands of "vacuum erection devices" for over a year when the company did not have a valid Medicare billing number, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia.

Osbon "opened Augusta Medical and had hoped to obtain the necessary authorizations from Medicare," according to the statement. "However, Osbon allegedly disregarded the law and the advice of his own executive team and proceeded to bill Medicare for thousands of erection devices without having a valid billing number."

"Frankly, I'm dumbfounded," Osbon said Wednesday evening in response to the allegations. "I'm not guilty of anything."

Osbon said he has not seen an official notice of the lawsuit yet, but has been cooperating "fully" with the Justice Department during the investigation.

Osbon made his fortune with the vacuum devices in the years before pills to treat erectile dysfunction became widely available in the 1990s. He sold the rights to the pioneer medical device in 1995. He also sold Augusta Medical Systems and is no longer involved with the company.

Osbon said Wednesday that he has provided all the necessary documentation to prove that his former business was operating legally and ethically. He said his attorney told him this is "one of the most ridiculous cases ever seen."

A call seeking comment from the U.S. Attorney's office was not returned Wednesday.

The suit was filed under the False Claims Act, which allows the government to recoup triple damages and impose a fine of up to $11,000 per claim, according to the statement.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office will stand vigilant to protect federal health care programs from fraudulent practices," U.S. Attorney Edward J. Tarver said in the statement.

Business Editor Tim Rausch and Staff Writer Kyle Martin contributed to this report.

Comments (146) Add comment
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bettyboop
8
Points
bettyboop 06/23/10 - 04:22 pm
0
0
Uhhh...now I know there is a

Uhhh...now I know there is a joke in here somewhere..........................

Riverman1
94242
Points
Riverman1 06/23/10 - 04:27 pm
0
0
Those TEE supporters don't

Those TEE supporters don't care about money. They only care about the future of Augusta. They spent $100 million of taxpayer money because they care about the people of Augusta.

Brad Owens
4914
Points
Brad Owens 06/23/10 - 04:48 pm
0
0
All this over tax payer

All this over tax payer funded erections?

Brad

Riverman1
94242
Points
Riverman1 06/23/10 - 04:52 pm
0
0
Brad, hahaha. And I was only

Brad, hahaha. And I was only mad about the erection of the TEE.

hickstreetlane
0
Points
hickstreetlane 06/23/10 - 05:02 pm
0
0
The little guy stands up and

The little guy stands up and cheers for the feds. This rubs me the wrong way. I extenze my congrats to the guberment in pushing their way through. No viagra-vation about it.

speeding
0
Points
speeding 06/23/10 - 05:17 pm
0
0
You never know.

You never know.

themaninthemirror
0
Points
themaninthemirror 06/23/10 - 05:20 pm
0
0
Technically, according to

Technically, according to this article, the only thing Osbon did wrong was billing Medicare without a valid billig number. If his claims were valid, and the only thing lacking was a valid billing number, his only crime is trying to circumvent the system. However, $690,00 is a lot of money, and triple recovery by the feds puts him at quite a loss. I don;t know how much his "ED" devices cost on a per patient basis, but that certainly does seem like a lot of medicare patients. And at an additional $11,000 per claim, he might be heading for the bankruptcy line.

corgimom
38706
Points
corgimom 06/23/10 - 06:03 pm
0
0
Themaninthemirror- "If his

Themaninthemirror- "If his claims were valid, and the only thing lacking was a valid billing number, his only crime is trying to circumvent the system."

Sorry, MITM, that's not the way the US government looks at it. No number, no billing. Period. End of story. Because until you get a Medicare billing number, there is no contract, there is no authorization, there is no permission to bill, and any claim is considered fraudulent.

Ask yourself this question, MITM- why would it take him over a year to get a Medicare billing number?

It's called "obeying the law".

And no matter who you are, you don't get to "circumvent the system."

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 06/23/10 - 07:48 pm
0
0
For the past 18 months,

For the past 18 months, enforcing the law seems to be very selective for the feds. Of course, once they have their sights on you, they have unlimited taxpayer funded lawyers. Time for a deal.

secretagentman
2
Points
secretagentman 06/23/10 - 07:50 pm
0
0
why would Medicare pay if he

why would Medicare pay if he didnt have a valid billing number?

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/23/10 - 08:11 pm
0
0
JB1968ga, you are one of

JB1968ga, you are one of many. Sorry to hear it.

scoopdedoop64
2508
Points
scoopdedoop64 06/23/10 - 08:36 pm
0
0
Finally, Julian's ways are

Finally, Julian's ways are catching up to him. I know the man and have very little respect for him. He tends to think that rules apply only to others and he does not have to. When he had his first company he sold out to a California hatchet company that he knew would destroy and unemploy over 400 local employees in order to get his 26 million. I don't have a problem selling the company, just who he sold it to. Anyway, this man has to live with the consequences of his actions as we all do. Sorry, I am just pumped up about this! LOL

americafirst
1001
Points
americafirst 06/23/10 - 08:37 pm
0
0
Following up on

Following up on secretagentman's question, how does he even submit a bill to medicare without a billing number?

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/23/10 - 08:40 pm
0
0
I thought it was only $18 M,

I thought it was only $18 M, Scoop.

scoopdedoop64
2508
Points
scoopdedoop64 06/23/10 - 08:45 pm
0
0
Fiat, I could be wrong but

Fiat, I could be wrong but that was the final figure when you added the stocks that were included with the company. Either way the same principle. That guy didn't care about anyone but himself. Sounds like you knew the deal to. I worked in professional sales there for 3 years.

scoopdedoop64
2508
Points
scoopdedoop64 06/23/10 - 08:53 pm
0
0
They say what goes around

They say what goes around comes around and so maybe this will be one of those things to humble him just a bit.

scoopdedoop64
2508
Points
scoopdedoop64 06/23/10 - 08:57 pm
0
0
double post sorry

double post sorry

TrulyWorried
16650
Points
TrulyWorried 06/23/10 - 09:12 pm
0
0
Scoop - so let it be a double

Scoop - so let it be a double post - it deserves it - although I don't see one!! :>)

thewiz0oz
9
Points
thewiz0oz 06/23/10 - 09:22 pm
0
0
hummm--let's see--a

hummm--let's see--a whistleblower who is a convicted felon who is under investigation for criminal medicare fraud -- joe testino -- teaming up with the justice department to nail a legitimate business person -- sounds like the keystone cops at work -- unfortunately for the taxpayers--the feds have no case and they know it -- when corrupted govt gets in bed with know felons -- the real screwing is done to the taxpayer

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/23/10 - 09:27 pm
0
0
Scoop, there were some really

Scoop, there were some really nice guys selling that equipment. We actually may have met at some point. (I didn't work for the company though.)

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/23/10 - 09:30 pm
0
0
Uh, Wiz, that's kind of out

Uh, Wiz, that's kind of out of the blue. Care to expand a little and connect Testino to this story for the rest of us?

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 06/23/10 - 09:36 pm
0
0
What's wrong with this
Unpublished

What's wrong with this picture? Erection pumps paid for by Medicaid? Puh-leeze!!! These things are available online from dozens of sources for under $100.00. Why on earth would anyone need medicaid to pay for one, and more importantly, why would medicaid pay for something like this? They don't have enough money to pay for the treatment of chronic, life threatening illnesses.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 06/23/10 - 09:38 pm
0
0
Under the Presidents

Under the Presidents healthcare plan you will see many more prosecutions of companies defrauding Medicare. Things like this are the reason health insurance will be within the budget of noemal people. BTW did this gentleman build his business or inherit it from a relative? He might be a businessman but it is hard to fail when you start out a multi-millionaire.

scoopdedoop64
2508
Points
scoopdedoop64 06/23/10 - 09:47 pm
0
0
dissman, he built this

dissman, he built this company from scratch from an idea that his father had. To be honest, so many common circulation problems (i.e. diabetes, heart problems and prostrate surgery) can cause the E.D. so it was a great product before viagra came out and still for those who can't use viagra it is good and it is not just a toy but had to have a prescription to get. Fiat, we may have met. I was over 80 reps in the U.S. that took this to doctors. It was a good company before Osbon sold it to Urohealth.

scoopdedoop64
2508
Points
scoopdedoop64 06/23/10 - 09:58 pm
0
0
I don't think I could say it

I don't think I could say it any better than you did Trulyworried!

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 06/23/10 - 10:09 pm
0
0
Smith, I agree. From the ads

Smith, I agree. From the ads on TV, I assume everybody should get a a Hoveround too. This man comes on and says he's Tom Cruise but he isn't the real Tom Cruise. A toll-free number comes up and the fraudulent Tom Cruise says all you have to do is dial it and they will take care of everything and it won't cost you a cent because of Medicare. Since most older Augustans can walk faster than they drive, maybe they should get a Hoveround. Following this reasoning the Device That Dare Not Speak Its Name might as well be free too. And shag lessons. And why not a Harley Hog too? (Still waiting for word from the font.)

belle
311
Points
belle 06/23/10 - 10:14 pm
0
0
fiatluxe....http://chronicle.
Unpublished

fiatluxe....http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2009/08/27/met_545984.shtml

mastercraft78
0
Points
mastercraft78 06/23/10 - 10:22 pm
0
0
Scoop we may have met in the

Scoop we may have met in the buisness. Is your name Robert?

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 06/23/10 - 11:47 pm
0
0
there were rumors that the

there were rumors that the wiz0oz was either julian or someone connected to him.. well, that goes to show you why he was so pro tee center.. he benefits from sale of the land.

dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 06/24/10 - 02:27 am
0
0
Why did it take 15 years to
Unpublished

Why did it take 15 years to discover an error? This sounds like a witch
hunt to me!! The U.S. attorney must be trying to make a name for
himself.

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