Former Gator quarterback and Gainesville resident Shane Matthews has been sentenced to three months in jail for his role in a health care fraud conspiracy case. He was sentenced in a south Florida court last week after pleading guilty to one count of causing a drug to be misbranded.
Shane Matthews Involvement in Case
In early 2015 Matthews was contacted by his former teammate Monty Grow and offered a position as a “pharmaceutical marketing representative.” This was a position Grow described as an opportunity to work flexible hours, according to a statement by Matthew’s attorney, Miles Kinsell.
Over the course of his approximately four month time with Grow’s “company,“ Matthews paid taxes on income and never had any indication that he was participating in anything that was not a 100 percent legitimate business, according to Kinsell.
Also according to Kinsell, in late April and early May of 2015 Matthews ceased working with Grow never having any idea that in actuality Grow was running an unlawful scheme to receive illegal “kickbacks” on the sale of prescription medicines. In early 2016 investigators contacted Matthews and informed him that they were investigating Grow’s business.
Matthews said in a statement that he was “stunned by this revelation,” and immediately cooperated with the authorities and offered to give back every cent of his compensation.
Matthews met with prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. According to Kinsell, the US Attorney’s office was convinced Matthews had no idea Grow was conducting an illegal enterprise. The government chose not to charge Matthews with the felony fraud crimes that Grow and others in his organization were indicted on; instead, Matthews was charged with a single misdemeanor.
In his statement, Matthews said he was sorry for what happened.
“I deeply regret getting involved with Mr. Grow’s business. My biggest mistake was not asking more questions in regards to his business practices. I have learned a valuable lesson in the importance of prudent decision making. Going forward, I will be sure to share this experience with the young men I coach so that they might avoid the pitfalls of a mistake this costly. ”
Matthews is serving as a coach on the football staff at Gainesville High School, where his son is the starting quarterback.
Monty Grow’s Involvement
A federal jury unanimously convicted Grow of healthcare fraud conspiracy for swindling $20 million from the TRICARE program. Grow will face up to 20 years in prison and was immediately taken into custody; his sentencing hearing is April 16.
Grow was convicted of conspiring to receive payments for referring hundreds of military beneficiaries to Pompano Beach-based pharmacy Patient Care America. He is also convicted of money laundering. In a 49-count indictment, Grow was accused of hiring an independent marketing team, which included Matthews.
As of Now
Not only is Matthews known as a former three-time All-SEC Florida quarterback, he’s also a radio personality working for ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF as part of the Ackerman and Matthews program that airs from 10 a.m. to noon weekdays. As of now, Matthews has been removed from the program and Ackerman at least temporarily will host the program alone.