A state health care administrator is accused of taking bribes to assist in a Medicare fraud scheme. A nursing home owner allegedly orchestrated a $1 billion health fraud. The 66-year-old administrator made just over $31,000 annually at her job, where she oversaw inspections at nursing home facilities. The owner of the nursing homes was a wealthy 48-year-old businessman who owns numerous facilities in Florida.
The administrator is accused of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from the nursing home owner. She allegedly accepted this money in exchange for providing him with tips about violations so that they would be addressed prior to being officially reported in state inspections. Federal prosecutors have alleged that the administrator’s assistance kept the nursing home’s federal billing active. She worked at the state’s health care administration agency for 29 years and is the first employee there to be charged with accepting bribes.
The administrator allegedly provided information to intermediaries for the nursing home owner, and the two apparently did not communicate directly. The owner is accused of using his 20 nursing homes to file falsely for reimbursements for services with Medicare and Medicaid. Health care for 14,000 patients was potentially compromised as part of this scheme. The network associated with the nursing homes allegedly billed $1 billion in false claims over a seven-year period from 2009 to 2016.
In a case involving this type of a federal white collar crime, a criminal defense attorney may seek to challenge the evidence being used. In particular, it could be important for a criminal defense attorney to combat the allegations that the defendant was aware of the purpose of any such payments.