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Ex NFL star gets 22 yrs for health care fraud, asks for leniency

A court recently found former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Monty Ray Grow guilty of health care fraud and sentenced him to 22 years imprisonment as well as over $19 million in mandatory restitution. The conviction was part of criminal allegations connected to prescription of unnecessary medications to Tricare recipients, a federal insurance program that aids military members.

According to the prosecution, Mr. Grow worked with others to request payment from the federal program for medically unnecessary pain creams. As a result of these payments, he received over $19 million dollars in illegal kickbacks from November 2014 through August 2015.

Can the sentence change?

In some cases, the answer is yes. In this case, Mr. Grow asked a panel of judges to reconsider his sentence. He states the government failed to establish that he was aware the expensive compound medications for unnecessary. He contends the organization brought him on as a marketer to help sell the product. When it came to medical necessity, he states he was “relying on the good faith and judgment of the doctors.” The prosecution counters with the argument Mr. Grow was trying to get as many refills as possible.

Will the argument work?

Although it is too early to tell, at least one judge on the panel appeared to support Mr. Grow’s argument. The judge pushed back against the government’s claims, demanding more evidence to show the accused was aware the prescriptions lacked medical necessity.

The court is currently considering Mr. Grow’s request to receive leniency in his sentencing. We will provide updates on the outcome as they become available. This case provides an example of the many paths similar cases can take. Those who face similar accusations should note the ability to appeal a sentence can require careful planning and prompt filing of the right paperwork. Without following these steps, the opportunity can be lost.

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