Navigation Links
Occupational Therapist and Patient Recruiter Plead Guilty in Detroit-Based Medicare Fraud Schemes

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Detroit resident Jaquita Lovelace and Miami resident Timothy Pierce have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Detroit to participating in conspiracies to defraud the Medicare program, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg of the Eastern District of Michigan and Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced.

Pierce, 42, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud today before U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood, and Lovelace, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sean F. Cox.

In her plea, Lovelace, a licensed occupational therapist, admitted that she began working in approximately September 2005 as a contract therapist for co-conspirator Suresh Chand, who entered a guilty plea in the same case in September. Chand owned and controlled several companies operating in the Detroit area that purported to provide physical and occupational therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries. Lovelace admitted that she, Chand and others created fictitious therapy files appearing to document occupational therapy services provided to Medicare beneficiaries, when in fact no such services had been provided. According to court documents, the fictitious services reflected in the files were billed to Medicare through sham Medicare providers controlled by Chand and other co-conspirators.

Lovelace admitted that her role in creating the fictitious therapy files was to sign documents and progress notes indicating she had provided occupational therapy services to particular Medicare beneficiaries, when in fact she had not. Lovelace was paid between $90 and $110 by Chand per file that she falsified in this manner. Lovelace also admitted that in the course of the scheme charged in the indictment, she signed approximately 544 fictitious occupational therapy files, falsely indicating she had provided occupational therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries. Lovelace admitted she knew that the files she helped falsify were used to justify fraudulent billings to Medicare.

In addition, Lovelace admitted that between approximately September 2005 and October 2006, Chand and his co-conspirators submitted claims to the Medicare program totaling approximately $2,176,000 for files that were falsified by Lovelace. Medicare actually paid approximately $1,088,000 on those claims. Lovelace admitted that throughout the conspiracy, she was fully aware that Medicare was being billed for occupational therapy services she had falsely indicated she had performed.

In his plea today, Pierce admitted that he was hired in March 2006 to recruit, drive and pay kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries to induce them to go to Dearborn Medical Rehabilitation Center (DMRC), a Dearborn, Mich., infusion clinic. The beneficiaries Pierce admitted to recruiting were paid to sign paperwork indicating that they had received infusions and injections of specialty medications that they did not in fact receive.

Pierce admitted that DMRC routinely billed the Medicare program for services that were medically unnecessary or were never provided. The primary owners and operators of DMRC, co-conspirators of Pierce, purchased only a small fraction of the medications that the clinic billed the Medicare program for providing. Patients were prescribed medications at the clinic based not on medical need, but instead based on which medications were likely to generate Medicare reimbursements.

The cases are being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney John K. Neal of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section and by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas W. Beimers of the Eastern District of Michigan. The FBI and the HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) conducted the investigation. The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division's Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Since the inception of Strike Force operations in March 2007 - Miami (Phase One), Los Angeles (Phase Two), Detroit (Phase Three), and Houston (Phase Four) - the Strike Force has obtained indictments of more than 331 individuals and organizations that collectively have billed the Medicare program for more than $720 million. In addition, HHS's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

Each of the Strike Force teams across the separate phases are led by a federal prosecutor from the Criminal Division's Fraud Section or the U.S. Attorney's Office. Each team has an agent from the FBI and HHS-OIG.

To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team, go to:

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Findings from New Study on Occupational Exposure to BPA of Limited Relevance to Consumers
2. Justice Department Releases New Fact Sheet on the Rights of Persons With HIV or AIDS to Obtain Occupational Training and State Licensing
3. Graves disease: Quality of life and occupational disability
4. Occupational Therapists Use Sensory Integration to Help Autistic Children Find Fitting Social Behaviors
5. Occupational Therapy Practitioners Identify Early Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Help Families Participate In Daily Routines
6. Nearing Centennial, Occupational Therapy Profession Launches New Brand
7. New Occupational Therapy School and Career Resource on All Allied Health Schools
8. U.S. Department of Labor pays $4.5 billion in benefits under Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act
9. Nurses: Command Spanish Onlines Occupational Spanish Language Course Accepted for Credit by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
10. Wyle Key Part of Winning Team for Marshall Space Flight Center Occupational Health Services Contract
11. Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... FL (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... In ... a growing epidemic as deaths from prescription opioids in the United States grew 400 ... cocaine. In 2013 alone, opioids were involved in 37 percent of all fatal drug ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... Serenity Point Rehabilitation, a holistic treatment center for substance abuse located ... the staff members at their recovery center. The videos highlight some of the various ... the things that make their recovery program so unique. , “Making the decision to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Chiropractic student Katie Benson received ... in Overland Park, Kansas. Benson, a fifth-trimester student in the university’s College of ... on October 16. , “Katie is very excited and greatly appreciative to receive ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science ... social media and the generosity of people around the world. On December 1, supporters ... to give – and share the personal stories behind those gifts. , Just ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... IL (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... and engineer of patented products, announces Fragrance by Marcelle, a cosmetic invention which ... The Perfume & Fragrance Manufacturing Market in the US is worth $3 billion ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Freudenberg Medical has developed specialty tubing for ... of medical facilities. Africa and ... is sparse. Nevertheless, prompt diagnosis is important to treat those ... virus. With the help of a portable mini-lab or "lab ... village in affected areas and perform rapid testing for HIV. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 24, 2015 Edelris announce today ... co-own with Inserm, Poxel, CNRS, UCBL and ENS-Lyon on a ... --> Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is ... people chronically infected worldwide, 20 to 40% of them being ... carcinoma. Despite the existence of an effective preventive vaccine, the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Ill. , Nov. 24, 2015  Wellness Center USA ... November shipments of its flagship product, Psoria-Light® (PL 1000), to targeted dermatology ... Houston, Minnesota , and North Carolina ... Cleveland , Chicago , and ... --> Revenue for the earlier shipments reported on October ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: