Former IRS Employee Sentenced on Health Care Fraud Charge
Lynchburg, VIRGINIA – A former employee of the Internal Revenue Service was sentenced yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg on a federal health care fraud charge related to his misuse of government health insurance benefits, United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced.
Ronald Lewis Hooper, 69, of Lynchburg, was sentenced yesterday to 20 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $549,607 in restitution. Hooper previously pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud.
According to evidence presented at a previous hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Jennie L. M. Waering, should this case have gone to trial, the United States would have proven that Hooper misused his government health benefits to seek opiate drugs such as Nubian, Phenergan, and others, at various emergency departments. The United States would have proven that Hopper began seeking these drugs at various emergency departments only after his primary physician began to restrict the number of injections he would provide to Hooper to two per week. Hooper sought additional injections at emergency departments at hospital facilities throughout Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Between December 2002 and December 2012, Hooper received services at hospitals and emergency rooms on approximately 1,700 separate occasions seeking injections of Nubian and Phenergan, incurring more than $824,000 in fraudulent medical payments.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Office of Personnel Management, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Special Investigations Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Jennie L. M. Waering prosecuted the case for the United States.