Fraudster of the Week -- Former Football Player Monty Grow
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team
On Monday, a federal jury in Miami unanimously convicted Monty Grow of running a compound pharmaceutical drug conspiracy that bilked $20 million from TRICARE, a healthcare program for military members and their families. Grow was a star linebacker at the University of Florida in the early 1990s and spent two seasons as a cornerback in the NFL.
Prosecutors accused Grow of creating a network of sales representatives that recruited TRICARE patients to obtain expensive compound prescriptions from Patient Care America (PCA), a pharmacy based in Pompano Beach, Florida. Between 2014 and 2015, PCA received $40 million from TRICARE to dispense costly compound creams and wellness vitamins. For each patient referral generated by Grow’s sales network, PCA paid Grow half of the federal reimbursement. Grow kept $10 million for himself and gave the remainder to his various sales representatives in exchange for their referrals.
Grow and his sales representatives also paid kickbacks to patients to induce them to obtain the prescriptions. According to prosecutors, many of the military members referred to PCA did not even need the costly compounds, only agreeing to purchase them because Grow and his associates paid them to do so. Grow’s team frequently covered patients’ co-payments, and one sales representative paid patients $1,000 each to complete customer surveys after receiving their prescriptions.
Grow, who testified at trial and maintains his innocence, faces up to 20 years in prison. Shane Matthews, Grow’s teammate at the University of Florida and a retired NFL quarterback, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for his role in the scheme. Matthews was sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to return the nearly $450,000 he made working with Grow.