Georgia woman who posed as fake nursing team pleads guilty to telemedicine fraud scheme 

A Georgia woman pleaded guilty in a U.S. district court to one count of conspiracy in connection to a nationwide telemedicine scheme in which she and co-conspirators posed as a team of nurses to sell medical and genetic testing equipment, the Justice Department said May 18. 

Robin Darnell, known to some of her co-conspirators as "Nurse Robin," 57, faces a possible sentence of up to five years in prison as well as financial penalties and restitution for her role in the scheme, according to the news release. 

Ms. Darnell admitted that she and other conspirators participated in a nationwide telemedicine kickback scheme from June 2018 through December 2020, in which she recruited physicians and other medical professionals to sign off on orders for durable medical equipment and genetic testing. Ms. Darnell claimed to have a team of nurses who would contact patients and conduct exams via telemedicine on behalf of the physicians in exchange for the healthcare professionals ordering medical equipment and costly genetic testing for those patients. 

Despite telling the physicians she recruited that she was working with a team of nurses, Ms. Darnell had no such team and went on to process thousands of orders that contained false medical histories, conditions, diagnoses and examinations. Ms. Darnell's conspirators then used the orders to bill Medicare for thousands of dollars each. 

The Southern District of Georgia now has charged 33 defendants as part of the telemedicine scheme and has identified more than $1.5 billion in losses to Medicare and Medicaid for defendants charged in the Georgia court, according to the news release. 


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