Shreveport mental health facility administrator sentenced to 26 months in prison for kickback scheme
SHREVEPORT, La. – Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that a Shreveport mental health facility administrator was sentenced Tuesday to 26 months in prison for taking part in a kickback scheme.
Tom McCardell, 64, of Lafayette, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote on 14 counts of paying illegal kickbacks. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine. McCardell was found guilty after a four-day trial that ended February 9, 2017.
According to the evidence presented at trial, McCardell operated a kickback scheme from July 2011 to November 2012 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. 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.
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 prosecuted the case.