A federal jury in Detroit today convicted the owner and the program coordinator of two Flint, Mich., adult day care centers for their participation in a $3.2 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan; Acting Special Agent in Charge John Robert Shoup of the FBI Detroit Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations Detroit Office made the announcement.
Glenn English, 53, was found guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and seven counts of health care fraud for directing a psychotherapy fraud scheme through New Century Adult Day Program Services LLC and New Century Adult Day Treatment Inc. (collectively known as New Century).
Richard Hogan, 67, an unlicensed social worker who worked as a program coordinator at New Century, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
The defendants were charged in a superseding indictment returned Dec. 11, 2012. Another individual charged in the superseding indictment, Donald Berry, awaits trial at a later date.
According to evidence presented at trial, English owned and operated New Century as an adult day care center through which he billed Medicare for individual and group psychotherapy services. As shown at trial, New Century brought in mentally disabled residents of Flint-area adult foster care homes (AFCs), as well as people seeking narcotic drugs, and used their names to bill Medicare for psychotherapy that was not provided. The evidence showed that English and Hogan lured drug seekers to New Century with the promise that they could see a doctor there who would prescribe for them the narcotics they wanted if they signed up for the psychotherapy program. New Century used the signatures and Medicare information of these AFC residents and drug seekers to claim that it was providing them psychotherapy, when in fact it was not.
The evidence also showed that English directed New Century employees to fabricate patient records to give the false impression that psychotherapy was being provided. Social workers and untrained employees wrote fake progress notes for therapy sessions that never occurred. Further, English and New Century employees directed New Century clients to pre-sign sign-in sheets for months at a time, and used these signatures to claim to Medicare they had provided services. On multiple occasions, New Century billed Medicare as if its social workers had provided over 24 hours of care in a single day.
From March 2010 through April 2012, New Century billed approximately $3.2 million and received more than $988,000 from Medicare.
The health care fraud conspiracy count carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison; each count of health care fraud carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for Feb. 27, 2014.
The investigation was led by the FBI and HHS-OIG and was brought by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,500 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.