(WCSC) - A South Carolina man from the Isle of Palms was sentenced to 82 months in prison today for his role in a nationwide health care fraud scheme that defrauded more than 17,000 victims.
William M. Worthy II, 53, of Isle of Palms, South Carolina, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Aleta A. Trauger of the Middle District of Tennessee, who also ordered Worthy to pay $6,524,888.86 in restitution and forfeiture.
Worthy pleaded guilty on Nov. 3, 2015, to one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiring to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, health plan embezzlement and money laundering.
As part of his guilty plea, Worthy admitted that he took part in a scheme to defraud thousands of individuals who bought purported health care coverage from Worthy and his co-conspirators, when in fact the health care plans were not backed by insurance companies.
The purported health care plans were marketed by Smart Data Solutions LLC, a company located in Springfield, Tennessee, owned and managed by charged co-conspirator Bart Sidney Posey Sr., 48, of Springfield.
Worthy also admitted that he and his co-conspirators embezzled funds from premiums paid by people who had signed up for these unauthorized health plans, diverting more than $5.4 million in premiums for their own personal use.
He further admitted that most of the claims submitted in connection with these unauthorized health plans were never paid and accepted responsibility for more than $7.3 million of losses from the fraud.
Worthy was charged along with Posey Sr., Richard Hall Bachman, 67, of Austin, Texas, and Angela Slavey Posey, 49, of Springfield, in a 57-count indictment returned on June 26, 2013. The three co-defendants are pending trial.
Multiple groups and agencies, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration and Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Tennessee Office of the Attorney General investigated the case.