The government recently accused a professional counselor of taking part in a complex health care fraud scheme. The prosecution accused the counselor of filing false documents to incorporate the counseling business, completing unnecessary tests of patients receiving treatment at the center and using employed doctor’s medical licenses to fraudulently prescribe and move drugs.
Government builds successful case: Counselor fined millions, faces prison
The accused is currently in New York, after receiving permission from the judge to stay with her mother in Syracuse. She will remain in Syracuse and receive counseling until beginning her sentence in March.
In addition to the three-year jail sentence, the court has also stated the accused will pay $3,132,806.12 in restitution. This is the total amount the prosecution states the clinic fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid.
Lesson for other medical professionals: The government has a broad reach
The counselor was not the only one arrested in relation to this scheme. A shadow owner was also arrested and sentenced to over twenty years in prison. The prosecution also built a successful case against a doctor connected to the center. The physician will serve over 11 years in prison and pay over $1 million in restitution for his role in the alleged scam.
Anyone that files for and receives payment from Medicare or Medicaid could find themselves the subject of a health care fraud investigation. The government’s reach in these cases is broad and can include medical professionals within the facility as well as other owners and those affiliated with the alleged scheme.
As such, anyone that finds an organization they are involved with is under investigation for similar crimes by the government is wise to seek legal counsel. An attorney experienced in this area of the law can build a defense if the investigation results in charges, better ensuring your legal rights are protected.