December 19, 2014

Greenwood Woman Sentenced for Millions in Hospice Fraud

OXFORD, MS—Felicia C. Adams, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi; Donald Always, Special Agent in Charge at the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood announced that:

Regina Swims-King, 54, of Greenwood, Mississippi, was sentenced on December 18, 2014 by United States District Judge Michael Mills in Oxford, Mississippi, to seventy (70) months’ imprisonment to be followed by three (3) years of supervised release. Swims-King will report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on February 23, 2015.

Swims-King previously pled  guilty in February 2014 to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1347 & 1349. Swims-King admitted to submitting fraudulent charges to Medicare and receiving millions of dollars in Medicare funds based on alleged hospice services for patients that were not eligible for hospice services; services that were never provided; or claims based on the forged signatures of physicians. In addition to her prison sentence, Swims-King was ordered to pay $7,941,335.26 in restitution to the Medicare program. Swims-King also forfeited seventeen (17) vehicles worth over $600,000 and twelve (12) pieces of real property valued at over $700,000.

Felicia C. Adams, United States Attorney, said, “Health care fraud affects every citizen because it takes critical resources out of our health care system. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi is working aggressively to pursue health care fraud criminals and bring them to justice. Today’s sentence ensures that these illegal practices will not be tolerated in our district. We are grateful for the hard work of all the federal, state and local agencies who worked tirelessly to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion.”

“Rooting out health care fraud is essential to the well being of both our citizens and our economy,” said Donald Alway, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. “The teamwork of each agency involved in this investigation helps to keep programs like these in place for the most vulnerable of our residents who need it the most. I want to thank the investigators who worked this case and look forward to continued partnerships to combat crime in the Magnolia State.”

“Hospice fraud is a serious problem in Mississippi,” said Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General in Atlanta. “There are several sham providers that are billing for patients who are not terminally ill and paying kickbacks to doctors and patient recruiters. We plan to identify the individuals committing these crimes and to put them in prison just like we did in this case.”

“Health care fraud is a serious crime which not only steals money from government programs, but has a lasting effect on benefits available to our State’s most vulnerable citizens. We will continue to work with our federal partners to fight healthcare fraud in our state,” said Attorney General Jim Hood.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Mississippi State Attorney General’s Office—Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi.