United States Sues Supply Company And Delaware County Couple For Healthcare Fraud
PHILADELPHIA - The United States filed a civil healthcare fraud lawsuit today against John M. Hastings and Sarah Cintron Hastings, of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, and their medical supply company, Diabetic Care Solutions, Inc. The complaint, announced by United States Attorney Zane David Memeger, alleges that the couple operated the company in an attempt to bypass Hastings’ exclusion from the Medicare program.
Hastings was convicted of healthcare-related criminal charges in 1999, resulting in his exclusion from Medicare. During his exclusion, the complaint alleges that Hastings operated the company from store locations in Drexel Hill and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and billed claims to Medicare. Although Hastings concealed his role, he controlled the company’s finances, managed its operations, and fitted and sold specialty medical shoes to nursing home residents. The company deposited Medicare payments into bank accounts that Hastings accessed. Sarah Cintron Hastings served as the company’s nominal president, allegedly to avoid detection.
The lawsuit is captioned United States of America v. John M. Hastings, Sarah Cintron Hastings, and Diabetic Care Solutions, Inc. (E.D. Pa.). To resolve the matter, the parties are asking the court to enter a consent judgment that will require defendants to pay $200,000, adhere to the rules of exclusion, and accept additional periods of exclusion.
The public can search the government’s database of excluded providers on a website, http://exclusions.oig.hhs.gov/.
The allegations arose from an investigation led by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. The case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Michael S. Macko.
The United States filed the lawsuit under the False Claims Act. Under the False Claims Act, a person who causes false or fraudulent claims to be submitted to the government for payment is liable for three times the government’s damages, plus civil penalties for each false claim. The allegations against Hastings, Cintron Hastings, and the company are allegations only and not findings of liability.