Texas medical fraud case yields harsh outcome for defendant

News outlets spotlighting health care fraud routinely underscore the harsh – arguably, even draconian – sentencing outcomes that often accompany it.

We are no exception at the Houston criminal defense law firm of Hilder & Associates. Indeed, we command an inside position as commentators concerning the subject matter. Our deep legal team has extensive experience providing the strong legal defense that white collar defendants urgently need.

We duly note on a firm website page addressing medical fraud defense that health care providers “may be exposed to severe penalties, including millions in damages, years in prison and forfeiture of assets.”

That outcome was precisely what was levied upon a Houston resident recently by a Texas federal judge in a case involving so-called “patient recruitment” fraud. The U.S. Department of Justice announced last week that the defendant received a 188-month prison sentence. That exaction was coupled by an order to pay the government nearly $13 million in restitution.

The defendant is but one of several other alleged co-conspirators who still await sentencing. Investigators say that she played a principal role in a scam that involved paying kickbacks to doctors in exchange for paperwork allowing her to enter false billings linked with medical services provided to at-home patients.

The care cited and billed for was never actually provided, with false claims reportedly yielding as much as $25 million for the woman and other individuals.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force spearheaded the investigation. That unit has conducted fraud probes leading to an estimated 4,000 individuals being criminally charged since its inception in 2007.