WASHINGTON – A registered nurse employed by a Houston health care company pleaded guilty today in connection with an alleged $5.2 million Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS).
Adelma Casas Sevilla, 54, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Atlas in Houston to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. According to court documents, Family Healthcare Group, a home health care company, purported to provide skilled nursing to Medicare beneficiaries. According to court documents, Family Group hired co-conspirators to recruit Medicare beneficiaries for the purpose of filing claims with Medicare for skilled nursing that was medically unnecessary and/or not provided. After the Medicare beneficiaries were recruited, Casas Sevilla, in her capacity as a registered nurse, fraudulently signed plans of care stating that the beneficiaries needed home health care when in fact she knew the beneficiaries were not home-bound and not in need of skilled nursing.
At sentencing, scheduled for July 21, 2011, Casas Sevilla faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the health care fraud conspiracy count.
Today’s guilty plea was announced by Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer; U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno of the Southern District of Texas; Special Agent-in-Charge Richard C. Powers of the FBI’s Houston Field Office; Special Agent-in-Charge Mike Fields of the Dallas Regional Office of HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations; and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Charles D. Reed and Laura Cordova, and Assistant Chief Sam S. Sheldon of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas and the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
Since their inception in March 2007, Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in nine locations have charged more than 1,000 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $2.3 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are 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 .