The United States government recently accused a wife of criminal activity based on her husband’s alleged crimes. The government states the woman had knowledge of and knowingly participated in his alleged crimes. If convicted, she could face hefty fines and up to ten years imprisonment.
Husband accused, wife faces same fate: In this case, the husband is a physician who specializes in rheumatology and other degenerative diseases licensed to practice in Texas. The government has accused the physician of submitting false or fraudulent claims for care to health care benefit programs like Medicare. The government charged the physician with health care fraud conspiracy, health care fraud and money laundering conspiracy on May of 2018.
In 2017, the wife testified at a bankruptcy proceeding that she was always “involved in [her husband’s] business in the clinic and other enterprises.” The government is using this testimony to support the claim that she was aware of and involved in her husband’s alleged criminal actions. The government has also gathered evidence from unnamed employees to support these claims. This includes claims of false and fictitious medical records. Ultimately, the government has accused the couple of hundreds of millions of dollars of false and fraudulent claims to benefit programs.
Lesson from the case — accusations can have a broad impact: This case provides an example of the broad reach of government accusations of criminal activity. As such, any physician facing allegations of health care fraud is wise to take the accusations seriously. A proactive and prompt approach can better ensure your legal rights and those of the ones you love are protected.