The federal government provides a variety of services to American citizens. The U.S. government provides national parks, healthcare benefits, educational benefits, police services and more. These benefits are extremely varied and sometimes people may not even realize that the federal government is involved in a particular activity. When criminal activity involves one of these federal services, federal criminal charges can follow.
Recently, the 42-year-old CEO of a Chicago based medical services company has been arrested on federal charges. A 63-year-old doctor that works for the same company was also arrested and charged. This medical services company was based in Chicago but serviced patients throughout the country by arranging for in home visits by doctors.
Federal authorities claim that this company would send doctors into Medicare patients’ homes for medical care, but overbill Medicare for the services. Furthermore, prosecutors claim that these doctors would exaggerate the seriousness of Medicare patients’ health to get more money. On average these doctors would spend between 10 and 30 minutes with these patients, according to federal investigators, however, Medicare was often billed for complex appointments longer than 40 minutes.
Authorities claim to have statements from many of the company’s patients regarding the services that were performed. Also, federal investigators have executed search warrants and searched nine of the company’s regional offices. The federal government is trying to seize company assets of up to $2.568 million, which the government claims to have overpaid.
The CEO’s attorney has claimed that these allegations are unsubstantiated.
When people face federal charges, they have many of the same rights that they have in state court. These constitutional rights will protect those facing federal charges from unfair criminal proceedings and extreme punishments. However, people need to be proactive in making sure that these rights are protected throughout the federal court system.
By Robert Kerr
Source: NBC 5, “Doctor, Healthcare Firm CEO Charged With Fraud,” Aug. 27, 2013