Arkansas Woman Pleads Guilty to Million-Dollar Health Care Fraud, Money Laundering Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 21, 2013|
JACKSON, TN—Rebecca Christain, 57, of Mountain Home, Arkansas, pleaded guilty on November 20, 2013, to a two-count federal information charging her with one count of health care fraud and one count of money laundering in relation to a Medicare fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III.
According to the facts alleged in the information and statements made during her guilty plea, Christain was the owner of Sleep Analysts, Inc. and a subsidiary company, Pulmonary Solutions. Pulmonary Solutions had offices in Michie, Brownsville, Savannah, Waynesboro, and Jackson, Tennessee and was in the business of providing respiratory therapy services to Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare program patients.
From October 2008 to December 2009, Christain devised a scheme to defraud the Medicare program by hiring unlicensed individuals to perform services that were billed to Medicare as respiratory therapy services and by instructing her staff to falsify records setting forth the amount of time during which services were provided. She also instructed employees to designate certain services for billing under physical therapy codes, which resulted in payments approximately double those of respiratory codes, and instructed employees to designate certain services to be double or triple billed using both physical therapy and respiratory therapy codes, even though Pulmonary Solutions never employed any physical therapists.
In total, Christain caused fraudulent claims in excess of $1,000,000 to be paid by Medicare and Medicaid for fraudulently billed respiratory therapy services. Christain is scheduled to be sentenced on February 20, 2014, in Jackson, Tennessee, before U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen.
This investigation was conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Fabian represented the government.