Former Co-owner of Home Health Care Business
Sentenced For Filing False Tax Returns
WICHITA, KAN. – The former co-owner of a Wichita home health care company who pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns has been sentenced to six months in-home detention, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
Betty Lessard, 74, Wichita, Kan., will serve a year on supervised release including six months in-home detention. She also was ordered to pay $692,515 in restitution. In addition, she is banned from doing business with Medicare.
Earlier this year, Lessard’s husband, Gerard Lessard, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months community confinement, followed by six months in-home detention with electronic monitoring, and $692,615 restitution. He also was banned from doing business with Medicare.
The Lessards are the former owners of ProActive Health Care in Wichita. They each pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return. In their pleas, they admitted that in October 2005 they filed a joint federal tax return for the year 2004 in which they failed to report additional income totaling $858,789.
According to court documents, Proactive was one of the largest home health agencies in Kansas and received more money from Kansas Medicaid in 2004, 2005 and 2006 than any of its competitors. The Lessards previously agreed to settle a False Claims Act and civil forfeiture action that began in 2011 when a federal agent filed an affidavit alleging Proactive submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicaid totaling more than $38 million.
Grissom commended IRS-CID, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the FBI, the Kansas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Treadway for their work on the case.