Garland Woman Admits Role in Health Care Fraud Conspiracy
DALLAS, Texas — Latecia P. Hill, 51, of Garland, Texas, pleaded guilty today, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney, to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud stemming from a scheme to defraud Medicare through the submission of false claims for hearing related services. The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Hill faces a maximum penalty not to exceed 5 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and may be ordered to pay restitution. Hill will remain on bond pending sentencing.
Latecia Hill’s mother, Pearle L. Madere, 72, pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy last month and is awaiting sentencing. Harlan R. Hill, 53, Latecia Hill’s husband, is awaiting trial.
According to documents filed in the case, Harlan Hill owned and operated Total Senior Ear Care (TSEC); Latecia Hill served as its administrator; and Pearle Madere ran day-to-day operations. TSEC, whose offices were located in Dallas, provided hearing-related services to Medicare beneficiaries living in nursing homes. TSEC physicians and medical assistants would go to a facility and would routinely see as many as 100 patients in a day, often spending less than 5 minutes with each patient. These contracted physicians and medical assistants would do a complete “sweep” of the facility and see every patient available, regardless of the need for hearing-related services. Many of the patients were unresponsive and had no way to communicate whether they wanted the service or not. These hearing services were then fraudulently billed to Medicare for reimbursement. This fraudulent business, created by Harlan and Latecia Hill and Pearle Madere caused Medicare to pay TSEC more than $5.1 million for services never rendered or necessary.
The FBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated this case as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Pfeifle is prosecuting.
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