Former CEO, COO, and CFO Also Ordered to Pay $8.48 Million in Forfeiture
The former Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer of Sacred Heart Hospital in Chicago were sentenced to prison for their roles in a conspiracy to pay kickbacks to doctors in exchange for patient referrals. The three former senior executives were also ordered to pay $8.48 million in forfeiture.
The hospital’s former owner and CEO was sentenced to 54 months in prison. The hospital’s former COO was sentenced to 21 months in prison. The hospital’s former CFO was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison.
The three former senior executives and others were found guilty of paying kickbacks and bribes to physicians in return for referrals of Medicare and Medicaid patients. According to the government, the payments were disguised as compensation for consulting work or instructional services. Some kickbacks were paid to doctors in the form of free professional staff and below market lease agreements.
Under the anti-kickback statute, providing anything of value in return for referrals of Medicare and Medicaid patients is a crime. It can also result in civil liability under the False Claims Act.
If you are under investigation or have been charged with violating the anti-kickback statute or the False Claims Act, you need to consult with an experienced Medicare fraud attorney immediately to protect your rights. How you respond in the early stages of an investigation or prosecution often means the difference between paying civil damages or going to prison.
John Howley, Esq.
John Howley, Esq.
350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor
New York, New York 10118
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