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Home health care fraud sentence announced

Regular readers of our New York health care blog know that we share news of health care investigations that sometimes include allegations that can threaten professional licensing and even to the freedom of the accused.

We read recently of a case far from us that resulted in a long prison sentence for a 65-year-old man law enforcement officials said was part of a home health care fraud conspiracy. The Texas man was sentenced to 17 and a half years in a federal prison, the prosecutor's office said.

Wilbert James Veasey Jr. is accused of being part of an operation headed by 59-year-old suburban Dallas Dr. Jacques Roy.

Veasey was ordered to pay more than $23 million in restitution to Medicare and another $500,000 to Medicaid.

Roy faces a hearing later this summer in which he could be sentenced to more than 80 years in a federal penitentiary.

Prosecutors said the scheme is the largest home health care fraud in the U.S. involving a single physician.

According to officials, Roy and Veasey and their accomplices billed Medicare and Medicaid for services for patients that were fake; sometimes including homeless people.

A Dallas newspaper said recruiters were paid to sign up "patients" in a homeless shelter. The "patients" were given McDonald's food and then sent on their way, while the conspirators billed the federal programs for medical services.

According to the newspaper account, the doctor didn't sign medical documents; he paid people to forge his name. Nurses falsified documents to qualify "patients" for home health care.

For New York health care professionals facing investigation or indictment, a conversation with an attorney experienced in Medicare fraud defense can make legal options clear.

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