The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas announced in a recent publication the conviction of a CEO of a physical therapy business. The office succeeded in the conviction of the CEO for conspiracy, health care fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Various government agencies worked together to gather evidence to support the charges against the CEO. This included agencies ranging from the United States Postal Service to the United States Department of Homeland Security and United States Department of Labor.
These agencies claim the CEO submitted claims for services patients never received. Examples of alleged services not provided included one-on-one physical therapy sessions. Instead, the agencies accuse the physical therapy business of having patients exercise independently on treadmills and other exercise machines while billing for the more individualized services.
The government presented various forms of evidence to support their claims against the accused, including testimony from almost 40 individuals. These witnesses included former patients and employees as well as expert witnesses and special agents charged with investigating the allegations. The agents conducting the investigation posed as patients at the clinics. During this time, the agents recorded the treatment they received. The government then used these recordings to support the allegations that the services rendered were not one-on-one physical therapy sessions.
Ultimately, the jury ruled in favor of the government. The court sentenced the CEO of the health care business to 233 months imprisonment. The court has also required the CEO to pay the Office of Worker’s Compensation Program a restitution payment of $14,537,548.54.
The United States’ Postal Service’s Special Agent in Charge Christopher Cave stated the sentence was designed to serve as a “clear deterrent to those engaging in fraud against federal benefit programs” and that these agencies would “continue to aggressively pursue these investigations and exhaust all efforts in uncovering these fraud schemes.” As such, any business or individual that believes they may be the subject of such an investigation is wise to act to protect their interests. An attorney can help.