Two licensed professional counselors from the Dallas-Fort Worth area were sentenced in a $9.5 million workers’ comp fraud scheme. Both defendants had previously pleaded guilty to their respective roles in a massive health care fraud scheme that involved bribes, unnecessary medical treatment, fraudulent billing, and the falsification of medical documents to fraudulently bill the federal government, through the Department of Labor’s Office of Worker Compensation Programs (OWCP), according to a release from U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. The lead defendant was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison and ordered to pay approximately $7.7 million in restitution. The second defendant was sentenced to six months home confinement, three years of probation and was ordered to pay $199,796.93 in restitution.
The crime centered around providing patients with counseling, pain management, chiropractic services, physical therapy and massage services. The lead defendant sought out and recruited his patients, who were former postal and VA employees who had suffered on-the-job injuries that prevented them from returning to work. The counselors billed the government for their services despite knowing that the injuries required no further treatment. Twenty-one claimants, four doctors or medical providers, a senior claims examiner at DOL, a claims representative, and a medical provider’s employee were charged in the scheme. All but two defendants have pleaded guilty to their respective roles in the scheme, according to the release.
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