Attorney-General Trevor Moniz reportedly filed the suit on Tuesday against Lahey Health, alleging a conspiracy with Brown, who was Premier of Bermuda between 2006 and 2010 under the former Progressive Labour Party (PLP) administration.
While the suit is directed at Lahey Health rather than 70-year-old Brown, it alleges that he used his position to ensure that Lahey ranked as the island’s overseas partner of choice.
The Boston Business Journal, a weekly newspaper, described the suit as a bribery charge to divert services from the island to the Massachusetts facility.
The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that “thousands of medically unnecessary scans”, carried out as a result of the arrangement, had placed the island among “the highest users of MRI and CT scans in the world”.
Brown is alleged to have conspired with Lahey over the course of almost 20 years to channel Bermuda government healthcare contracts to the facility in return for “bribes disguised as consulting fees”, the Journal said.
The suit reportedly branded the arrangement “wildly successful” for both Lahey and Brown, “at the expense of the Bermudian government and people”.
Christopher Murphy, a Lahey Health spokesman, told the Royal Gazette newspaper here that the Bermuda government’s suit had yet to be reviewed by the facility.
However, he expressed confidence in Lahey’s clean record of providing quality care to Bermudian patients.
“We will review these allegations and vigorously defend ourselves through every step of the legal process,” Murphy added.
The relationship between Brown and Lahey was said to have begun in 1997, while Brown, a Bermudian who once held US citizenship, served as shadow minister of human affairs, and to have continued after he stepped down as Premier in 2010.
The suit alleges that Brown paid “hundreds of thousands, if not millions” to have Lahey interpret CT and MRI scans from his clinic.
Bermudian insurers were said to have paid Lahey more than US$40 million for services provided between 2006 and 2016.
The Boston Business Journal reported that Brown’s consulting arrangement with Lahey included promoting healthcare opportunities in Bermuda and the Caribbean.
The article further stated that, in 2001, those fees totalled at least $125,000, and grew steadily over time.
In 2008, e-mails show that Brown was paid $504,000 in consulting fees by Lahey, according to the lawsuit.
According to the Globe, the lawsuit includes details that Brown and his wife were able to purchase a $3 million house on Marsha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. It alleges that he collected fees from insurers and split the payments with Lahey to remotely read the results.
In a statement issued after police descended on both the Brown-Darrell Clinic and Bermuda Healthcare Services at the weekend, Brown acknowledged that he had been the target of an investigation “ostensibly for political corruption” since 2011, but described the effort as baseless and politically motivated. He was off the island at the time of the raids.
Brown has vowed to battle the longstanding investigation in Bermuda’s courts, and to contest in particular the seizure of any patient records.
In May last year, as part of what police called an ongoing financial investigation, the medical director at Bermuda Healthcare Services, Dr Mahesh Reddy, was arrested.
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