A Chicago woman is facing federal prison time after a jury found her guilty of involvement in a conspiracy to defraud Medicare of over $3 million.
Federal prosecutors allege that the 56-year-old woman was the owner of a Chicago home health care company that billed Medicare for over $12 million between 2008 and 2016. Though a majority of the charges appear to have been legitimate, prosecutors say about one quarter of them were not.
Specifically, federal prosecutors allege the company of paying kickbacks for referrals of Medicare patients, which is a violation of federal law. Prosecutors presented testimony from a quartet of witnesses who have already pled guilty for their alleged involvement in the scheme. Four other witnesses took the stand in the course of the seven-day trial who admitted to aiding in paying kickbacks and altering patient files.
The defendant was ultimately convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks, seven counts of payment for specific kickbacks, and one count of visa fraud. She has been scheduled for sentencing in early July in the chambers of U.S. District Judge Andrea R. Wood of the Northern District of Illinois, where the trial took place.
Several agencies were involved in investigating the defendant, including the FBI, Health and Human Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, and the Medicare Fraud Strike Force.
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