Owner of Detroit health clinics gets 13 years for $8.9M in Medicare fraud
The owner of two Detroit health clinics was sentenced to 13 years in prison Wednesday for her role in an $8.6 million scheme involving fraudulent Medicare claims.
Jacklyn Price, 34, of Shelby Township, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland, who also ordered Price to pay $6.3 million in restitution along with her co-conspirators and to forfeit the same amount, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a released statement.
Price pleaded guilty in April 2017 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of health care fraud.
She owned Patient Choice Internal Medicine and Metro Mobile Physicians, two Detroit-based Medicare providers, according to the federal indictment. Both facilities were closed following Price's indictment in 2016, officials said.
Authorities say Price and several others were parties in the scheme of falsified claims for home health care and other physician services that were obtained through kickbacks, weren't medically necessary, provided by an unlicensed physician or weren't performed.
The defendants offered to pay kickbacks and bribes in the form of cash payment and prescription narcotics to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for the use of their Medicare beneficiary numbers, according to a grand jury indictment.
Price specifically would provide prescriptions for medically unnecessary controlled substances, including oxycodone, to Medicare beneficiaries. She then would submit claims for services purportedly provided by Metro Mobile and Patient Choice that were medically unnecessary and not provided to those beneficiaries, according to the federal complaint.
Price’s co-defendant, Millicent Traylor, 47, of Detroit, was ordered in September to serve more than 11 years in prison.
According to evidence presented at trial, Traylor and co-conspirators worked to defraud the program through fake home health and physician claims from 2011-16.
The evidence indicated the defendants conspired to cause Medicare to be billed for services never rendered, but falsified medical records and signed false documents to make it appear they were.
Traylor was convicted in May 2018 of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks, and five counts of health care fraud following a four-day trial.
The case was prosecuted through a division under the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which operates in 12 cities across the country and has charged nearly 4,000 defendants accused of collectively billing the Medicare program for more than $14 billion.
Co-defendant Muhammed Qazi, 48, of Oakland Township, was sentenced Aug. 27 to 42 months in prison, and for her role, Christina Kimbrough, 39, of Canton Township, was sentenced Wednesday to 27 months.
Each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, federal authorities said.