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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 27, 2022

Lavaca Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering

FORT SMITH – A Lavaca, Arkansas, man plead guilty today to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud and one count of Money Laundering. The Honorable Judge Mark E. Ford presided over the hearing in the United States District Court in Fort Smith.

In the plea agreement, Billy Joe Taylor, 43, admitted that from approximately November 2017 through approximately May 2021, he and his co-conspirators submitted and received payment for thousands of Medicare claims totaling millions of dollars for lab tests that had never been ordered by the referring medical provider or performed for the benefit of the beneficiary listed on the claims. The fraudulent claims were submitted on behalf of five clinical labs during the time that they were owned or controlled by Taylor and his co-conspirators, namely, Vitas Laboratory LLC in Barling, Arkansas, Corrlabs LLC in Southern Pines, North Carolina, Nations Laboratory Services LLC in Tecumseh, Oklahoma, Beach Tox LLC in Torrance, California, and Imaginus Diagnostic Laboratory LLC in Spiro, Oklahoma. More than $130 million in Medicare claims were submitted by these labs during the time they were owned or controlled by Taylor and his co-conspirators and Medicare paid approximately $38 million on these claims.

Taylor’s sentencing is expected to take place in approximately four months. Taylor faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for the crimes he plead guilty to. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas made the announcement.

The FBI, Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation investigated the case.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Elser of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas, and Trial Attorney D. Keith Clouser of the Department of Justice National Rapid Response Strike Force are prosecuting the case.

This case was initiated in coordination with the Health Care Fraud Unit’s COVID-19 Interagency Working Group, which is chaired by the National Rapid Response Strike Force and organizes efforts to address illegal activity involving health care programs during the pandemic.

Topic(s): 
Health Care Fraud
Updated October 27, 2022