The government recently accused two business owners of working together on an elaborate health care fraud scheme that cost the government millions. According to the prosecution, the two business owners, a married couple, put together a health care business to defraud the government.
While putting together their home health businesses, they allegedly failed to disclose previous felony convictions. The prosecution states Mr. Harron had previous convictions for wire fraud and money laundering and Ms. Harron for identity theft.
How did this lead to health care fraud charges?
According to an announcement by the Department of Justice, once the businesses were set up the couple would use the businesses to search for Medicaid identification numbers from deceased patients. The business would then allegedly bill for fictious services. The prosecution states the business owners cost the government more than $13 million.
What types of charges is the government pursuing in this case?
The prosecution has charged the couple with 54 counts of wire fraud. Each count of wire fraud can come with up to 20 years imprisonment. Additional charges include making false statements regarding health care matters, health care fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The government claims the couple attempted to remove the money from its connection to the alleged scheme by purchasing lavish items, like a private jet and expensive jewelry.
If convicted, they could face a lifetime of imprisonment.
Others in a similar situation can learn two lessons from this case:
- Review business practices. Those who run a home health business provide valuable services to their patients. However, a misstep or poor record keeping could make it difficult to defend against allegations of wrongdoing. Review business practices and make sure you are keeping necessary documents to avoid such allegations.
- Seek legal counsel. Those who face such allegations are not alone. These businesses have the right to build a defense to the charges and can seek legal counsel.
Due to the complex nature of this niche area of the law, it is wise to seek legal counsel from an attorney experienced in the legal matters that can impact home health agencies.