The US Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Alabama issued a press release on April 22, 2022 to notify the public that an Athens-based hearing aid specialist has been charged with healthcare fraud. The charges were announced by US Attorney Prim F. Escalona, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr, and TVA-OIG Special Agent in Charge Meagan Sands.

Information filed in US District Court charges Joshua D. Creasy, 44, of Athens, Alabama, with 15 counts of healthcare fraud. Creasy operated One Love Hearing Concepts, a practice with at least seven dispensing locations that provided hearing aids and other hearing solutions. 

According to information available to the US Attorney’s Office, Creasy schemed to defraud insurers into paying for medically unnecessary hearing aids. For example, Creasy provided free products to induce beneficiaries to allow One Love to bill their insurance for hearing aids.  He also billed insurance for hearing aids that beneficiaries never received. In some cases, insurance was billed for hearing aids for individuals who never visited a One Love location, or for individuals who came in but said they did not want or need the hearing aids. 

Creasy has agreed to plead guilty to the charges.  A change-of-plea hearing has not yet been scheduled.  In a plea agreement also filed on April 22, Creasy stipulated that he will pay forfeiture of $1,000,000 and pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $1,500,000.

The maximum penalty for each count of health care fraud is 10 years in prison. The FBI and TVA-OIG investigated the case, and Assistant US Attorney J.B. Ward is prosecuting it. The information contains only charges.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.