The Justice Department Announces Nationwide Coordinated Law Enforcement Action to Combat COVID-19 Health Care Fraud
LAFAYETTE, La. – A federal jury has returned a guilty verdict against Kristal Glover-Wing, 50, of Broussard, Louisiana, for one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and three counts of health care fraud following a trial that lasted nearly four weeks, announced United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown. Dr. Gary M. Wiltz and Dr. Charles H. Louis were each acquitted on their charges in the indictment. Judge Robert R. Summerhays presided over the trial.
Glover-Wing was the owner of Angel Care Hospice (“Angel Care”), a Louisiana corporation that purported to provide hospice services in Lafayette Parish and other parishes in the Western District of Louisiana. Through evidence presented at trial, jurors learned that from approximately 2009 through 2017, over 24 patients were placed on hospice by Angel Care without meeting the criteria required by Medicare. During the time period that the patients were on hospice and under the care and supervision of Angel Care, none of them had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. In fact, many of the patients themselves, who are still alive and thriving many years later, as well as family members of other patients, testified that they never knew that they had been placed on hospice. The testimony revealed that while on hospice care, many of the patients were living normal lives and although most of them did have medical conditions, none had been diagnosed as being terminally ill. The fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare and reimbursed to Angel Care resulted in a loss of approximately $1,539,161.10 to Medicare.
“Krystal Glover-Wing defrauded the government and we thank the jury for holding her accountable. We will now move forward to her sentencing hearing,” stated U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown. “I thank the trial team and investigators for staying the course throughout years of investigating and a hard-fought trial. Although the doctors in this case were ultimately acquitted, we as prosecutors present the facts to a federal grand jury when we truly believe there has been a violation of federal law that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Furthermore, if the grand jury decides to indict, we are not afraid to proceed to trial and give a federal trial jury the chance to ultimately decide someone’s guilt or innocence based on the evidence that we have. The verdict rendered in this case is evidence that the system can be just, fair and the trial jury has the ultimate prerogative to convict or acquit.”
“Whenever Medicare providers are motivated by greed, our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly, are put at risk,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeff Richards of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “HHS-OIG agents will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to investigate providers who loot the Medicare Trust Fund.”
Glover-Wing faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy to commit health care fraud charge, up to 10 years in prison on the health care fraud charges, 3 years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.
The case was investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly P. Uebinger, Danny Siefker, and Lauren L. Gardner.
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