Mississippi podiatrist accused of defrauding government millions in so-called foot bath, toenail clipping scheme

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, November 3, 2021

A north Mississippi podiatrist has been indicted by a Mississippi grand jury, accused of ordering unnecessary medications and testing in exchange for bribes and kickbacks.

Carey “Craig” Williams, 63, of Water Valley, Mississippi, who owned and operated North Mississippi Foot Specialists P.C. and an in-house pharmacy, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud; seven counts of health care fraud; one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to offer, pay, solicit, and receive kickbacks; and two counts of soliciting and receiving kickbacks.

Williams is accused of prescribing antibiotics and antifungal drugs that were to be mixed with warm water for patients to soak their feet. The drugs used for the foot baths were not “medically indicated to be dissolved in water and were often chosen based on their anticipated reimbursement amount rather than on medical necessity,” according to the indictment.

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Williams is also accused of ordering unnecessary testing on patients’ toenail clippings, including for bacteria that causes ‘cat scratch disease,’ which prosecutors said is unlikely to be found in a toenail.

The indictment said Williams solicited and received cash kickbacks in exchange for referring prescriptionsto pharmacies and laboratories.

Between July 2016 and July 2021, the indictment says that Williams is accused of causing pharmacies to submit more than $4.9 million in fake claims to Medicare. From January 2018 to April 2021, Williams is accused of causing a laboratory to submit more than $6.4 million in fake Medicare claims.