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Occupational Therapist and Patient Recruiter Plead Guilty in Detroit-Based Medicare Fraud Schemes
Date:11/18/2009

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,
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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