Federal jury finds Shreveport mental health facility administrator guilty of kickback scheme
SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a federal jury found a former Shreveport mental health facility administrator guilty Thursday of taking part in a kickback scheme.
Tom McCardell, 64, of Lafayette, La., was found guilty of 14 counts of paying illegal kickbacks. After the conclusion of the four-day trial, the jury deliberated approximately four hours before delivering the guilty verdict. United States District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote presided over the trial. According to the evidence presented, from July of 2011 to November 2012, McCardell operated a kickback scheme while he was administrator of Physicians Behavior Hospital (PBH) in Shreveport. He paid kickbacks to an Alabama resident, who had no medical training or background, to recruit and refer patients to PBH for psychiatric and substance abuse treatment. The hospital would then purchase bus tickets for the patients to travel to PBH in Shreveport. Many of the patients traveled unattended without escort. To avoid detection and suspicion, the defendant arranged for the kickbacks to be issued in the name of the patient recruiter’s son. The defendant also ordered PBH personnel to create an “employee file” in the name of the recruiter’s son in order to provide cover for the illegal kickback arrangement between the defendant and the recruiter. During the scheme, McCardell caused the hospital to pay the recruiter’s son checks totaling $41,000 to which he was not entitled. As a result of the illegal kickback scheme, the hospital billed more than $6.7 million dollars to Medicare and was paid more than $1.2 million dollars.
McCardell faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and $250,000 fine for each count.
The Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General and the FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Earl M. Campbell and Tennille M. Gilreath are prosecuting the case.