Health fraud lawsuit echoes 'Wolf of Wall Street'

Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:35pm EST
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By Terry Baynes

(Reuters) - A former business partner of the man who inspired the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street," about a high-profile stock fraud scheme in the '90s, has been sued for alleged Medicare fraud.

The complaint, filed on February 10, claims that Danny Porush and five other leaders of privately held Med-Care Diabetic & Medical Supplies Inc and an affiliated company participated in a "deceitful, high pressure telemarketing" scheme to sell unneeded medical equipment to patients.

Porush said in an email that he works as a manager at Med-Care and that the company never engaged in the activities alleged in the complaint.

Porush and Jordan Belfort, the main character in "The Wolf of Wall Street," led defunct brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont Inc, a boiler room that pumped up stocks. In the film, Belfort's right-hand business partner is named Donnie Azoff and played by Jonah Hill.

The lawsuit was brought by Tiffany Bumbury, who worked for three months as a telemarketer at a Med-Care affiliate until she was terminated around November 2010.

Bumbury sued under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which makes it illegal to submit false claims to Medicare. She stands to earn up to 30 percent of any recovery.

Belfort pleaded guilty in 1999 and Porush in 2002 to charges of securities fraud and money laundering in connection with Stratton Oakmont. Porush was sentenced to four years in prison and released on probation in 2004.

Bumbury's lawsuit claims that during his probation Porush "began engaging in and/or directing deceitful, high-pressure telemarketing activities through Med-Care and/or its affiliates."   Continued...