Owner of Middle TN opioid treatment programs to pay $500K to settle allegations of PPP fraud, violations

Of the $500K settlement, $143,109 is restitution relating to the PPP loans.
PPP Fraud
PPP Fraud(Pixabay)
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 1:14 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A Springville man has agreed to pay the United States $500,000 in order to settle allegations that he fraudulently applied for and received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and violated the Controlled Substances Act, according to United States Attorney Henry C. Leventis.

The settlement agreement states James C. Sells III had ownership in several office-based opioid treatment programs in Middle Tennessee, including Nashville Recovery LLC, which he sold in Sept. 2022, Everwell Medical LLC in Murfreesboro, Forever Well LLC in Dickson and Journey Medical in Gallatin.

The programs, acting through Sells, applied for and obtained multiple loans from the PPP totaling $143,109 all of which were forgiven.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office adds that in the settlement agreement, the U.S. also alleges that from Jan. 1, 2020, through Sept. 8, 2020, one of the providers who see patients at two of the programs failed to secure his password to the electronic prescribing system and allowed his office manager to electronically sign prescriptions, in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

Of the $500K settlement, $143,109 is restitution relating to the PPP loans, $143,109 is damages relating o the PPP loan and the remaining $213,782 is civil penalties for violations of the Controlled Substances Act.

“The civil claims settled by this Settlement Agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration - Diversion Group and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kara F. Sweet of the Middle District of Tennessee.”