Feds: Sen. Steve Dickerson Made an Estimated $6.5M from Fraudulent Pain Clinics
Federal prosecutors estimate state Sen. Steve Dickerson profited at least $6.5 million from his ownership of a pain clinic company during the same time period the company is accused of defrauding taxpayers out of about $25 million.
Dickerson, R-Nashville, an anesthesiologist, is one of the founders of Comprehensive Pain Specialists, or CPS, which was sued by the Department of Justice on Monday. The lawsuit says CPS billed the government for excessive drug testing on a daily basis and company owners looked the other way because they were earning millions.
Dickerson has declined to comment through his attorney, Ed Yarbrough.
"I would have only one comment: Dr. Dickerson is an honest man. We will prove that in court," Yarbrough said.
The lawsuit shows prosecutors don't know exactly how much Dickerson profited but think he was "paid similarly" to another owner, Dr. Gilberto Carrero, who got $6.5 million over six years. This compensation spans from 2013, when prosecutors say the drug testing scheme was growing, until 2018, when the company abruptly shut down. Dickerson's full compensation could be larger because this estimate doesn't include earnings from CPS assets and clinics that were sold off after the company closed.
The lawsuit says much of the CPS's fraud was masterminded by former CEO John Davis, who was convicted of health care fraud earlier this year, but says Davis operated with the blessing of the company's owners, including Dickerson and Carrero.
"Dickerson and Carrero may have at times voiced their concerns over Davis’s conduct, yet they failed to take action against him – choosing instead to keep the status quo of money flowing into their bank accounts," the lawsuit states.