BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Attorneys in the Middle District of Louisiana are charging two men for their connection to a Medicare scheme that defrauded the federal government of more than $1.7 billion.
The feds in Louisiana have charged 42-year-old Prairieville resident Kevin Hanley and 51-year-old South Carolina resident Mark Allen for their alleged roles in the scheme.
Allen and co-conspirators ran companies that solicited unnecessary DNA tests from elderly and low-income Medicare recipients, according to a Department of Justice press release. The tests were approved by tele-medicine doctors who did not know the patients they were recommending tests for, the government says.
The feds allege Allen and others, through their companies, turned the unneeded tests over to labs, such as Hanley’s Acadian Diagnostic Laboratories in Baton Rouge. After billing patients’ medicare accounts for the tests they did not need, the labs would kick back a cut of the money to the solicitors and doctors.
“Often, the results were not provided to the beneficiaries or were worthless to their actual doctors," the release reads. “Some of the defendants allegedly controlled a telemarketing network that lured hundreds of thousands of elderly and/or disabled patients into a criminal scheme that affected victims nationwide.”
“The defendants allegedly paid doctors to prescribe (genetic) testing, either without any patient interaction or with only a brief telephonic conversation they’d never met or seen,” the release continues, noting that Acadian and other labs billed Medicare for more than $240 million.
The Department of Justice indicted 35 people in five districts across the country for their alleged role in the scheme.