Friday, July 26, 2013

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Houston Man Ordered to Prison for a Kickback Scheme Investigated by State and Federal Officials

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas issued the following news release on July 26, 2013:

Professional” Medicare Beneficiary Turned Patient Recruiter Sentenced to Federal Prison

HOUSTON -- Robert Glenn Baker, 57, of Houston, has been sentenced for conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback statute, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Baker pleaded guilty to the charge on Aug. 15, 2012.

Today, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake took into consideration Baker’s cooperation with law enforcement agencies and handed him a sentence of 18 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Baker was further ordered to pay restitution in amount of $157,359 to the Medicare Program and $16,294 to the Texas Medicaid program.

Baker is a Medicare beneficiary. From March 2007 and continuing through April 2012, he visited several medical clinics in Houston and the surrounding areas which purportedly provided such medical services as physical therapy, diagnostic testing and mental health services. Baker did not have a medical need for these services, but would allow his Medicare benefits to be billed in exchange for cash. The owners and operators of the various medical clinics then submitted claims to Medicare for payment using Baker’s Medicare information.

Enticed by the money, Baker began recruiting and referring other Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to the clinics. The owners and operators of the clinics paid Baker a referral fee, typically in cash, for each individual he referred.

This case was investigated by agents and investigators of the Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Railroad Retirement Board - Office of Inspector General.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Blan prosecuted this case.