Sentencing In $3 Million Texas Medicare Fraud Scheme

June 30, 2014 — Participants in a Houston home health care Medicare fraudoperation have been sentenced in federal court. Under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, tipsters who notify the government by bringing a lawsuit are eligible for a significant share of the government’s recovery.

Houston Participants In Medicare Fraud Operation Ordered To Pay Restitution

According to the Department of Justice, Valnita Turner, the owner of Houston Compassionate Care, Inc., and Valdie Jackson, owner of Jackson Home Healthcare, Inc., bought stolen patient information from a hospital administration worker, Jarvis Thomas. Jackson and Turner used that information to file fraudulent Medicare claims on behalf of three Houston home health agencies — Jackson Home Healthcare, Inc., Houston Compassionate Care, Inc. and Prestige Health Services, Inc. The pair relied on assistance from Dr. Nick Patzakis and other physicians, who falsely signed medical documents. In addition, Jackson and Turner filed fraudulent claims with Medicare for home health services that were medically unnecessary and never ordered by a doctor.
  • Valnita Turner received a 151-month prison sentence. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,011,899.09.
  • Jackson is looking at a 12-month prison term and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,551,482.21.
  • Dr. Patzakis also was ordered to pay restitution in the sum of $95,947.57.
  • Thomas, who sold the stolen patient information, similarly was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,348,644.75.

Health Care Insiders Help Thwart Medicare Fraud

Fraudulent billings to Medicare like those discovered in this case are often revealed by insiders. If you have similar claims against different medical facilities, contact us or call our attorneys at 855.784.0268 to learn more about our practice and how we can assist. George Tankard and Anne Izzo, qui tam lawyers in Waters & Kraus’ Maryland office, protect informants at every step throughout the whistleblower process.
Contact us by email or phone our False Claims Act lawsuit attorneys at 855.784.0268 to collaborate with us to preserve Medicare spending for those who need it.

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