A health care executive known for running nursing and assisted living facilities in Chicago before expanding to Florida will begin trial within the next two weeks. The government has accused the former exec of his role in a scheme that allegedly defrauded Medicare of over $1 billion in false claims. The accused ran approximately 20 facilities and allegedly filed for claims with Medicare for services that were either never provided or unnecessary. The prosecution has also stated the business owner paid illegal kickbacks to physicians to encourage referrals to his facilities.
The accused stands trial alone. Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested the exec two years ago. Since his arrest, those who were allegedly involved in the scheme have already agreed to plea deals.
The government allegedly offered the exec a plea that included a prison sentence of up to 20 years. The accused declined to take the deal and has stated he will maintain his innocence in court.
In order to build its case, the defense must review over 100 files. According to the prosecution, these are the files of Medicare patients used by the accused to bilk the system. The process takes time. The government did not provide this evidence to the defense until December. The District Judge presiding over the case has stated trial will begin on February 11, 2019.
This case provides an example of the vast amounts of evidence that must be reviewed when building a defense for those who are accused of healthcare fraud. As such, those facing charges of this nature are wise to seek legal counsel. An attorney experienced in Medicare fraud cases can advocate for your interests and work to better ensure your rights are protected.