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    Criminal tax matters land hospital CEO in prison for 5 years

    | Dec 5, 2011 | Tax Crimes

    Anyone facing federal charges on criminal tax matters will already know how serious these charges can be if a conviction follows. In Texas, as elsewhere, it is not that uncommon for allegations of healthcare fraud to be followed by allegations of tax fraud (filing false returns). These types of charges often go hand-in-hand for obvious reasons.

    One individual who may understand how severe these charges can be began serving a five-year sentence for his part in a healthcare fraud scheme. The man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery related to federal funds and tax evasion. He was accused of perpetrating this offense while he was CEO of Laredo (Texas) Medical Center. The medical center is owned by hospital chain Community Health Systems (CHS).

    During a federal investigation it was learned that the man and his wife were paid in excess of $95,000 by an anesthesiologist using fake Medicare and Medicaid names from December 2005 to October 2008 in order to keep his contract with the Laredo Medical Center. After the medical center learned of the allegations, the center reported the claim and began an investigation. CHS moved the man in March of 2008 to the position of CEO at Cedar Park (Texas) Regional Medical Center. In October of 2009, a civil suit was filed against the man and others and he stepped down as CEO in January of 2010.

    In addition to the five-year prison sentence, he was also sentenced to three years probation. With his wife, the two owe nearly $75,000 restitution. They also owe a $50,000 fine as part of their criminal tax matters.

    Source: The Fierce Health Care, “Former CEO of several hospitals jailed for fraud-bribes-tax evasion,” Alicia Caramenico, Nov 15, 2011

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