Former Owners of Metro-Detroit Health Care Agencies Plead Guilty to Making False Statements to the Medicare Program
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 19, 2009|
Kevin Watson and Jaqueline Jackson, former owners of health care agencies, and two of eight defendants charged in a scheme to solicit and pay kickbacks in exchange for Medicare patients, pleaded guilty today, United States Attorney Terrence Berg announced.
U.S. Attorney Berg was joined in the announcement by Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Watson, age 43, and Jackson, age 44, both from Ypsilanti, pleaded guilty in United States District Court before the Honorable Avern Cohn to Superseding Informations which charged Watson with the misdemeanor offense of Aiding and Abetting False Statements to a Federal Health Care Program and charged Jackson with the misdemeanor offense of Making False Statements to a Federal Health Care Program.
According to the Superseding Informations and the plea agreements, in 2004, Jacqueline Jackson was the director of the home health care agency, Superior Home Care, Inc., located at 17330 Northland Park Court, Suite 201, in Southfield, Michigan. Jackson was a Medicare provider and received payments from the Medicare Program in 2004. In 2004, Kevin Watson, owner of Watson Health Care, located at 17330 Northland Park Court, Suite 202, Southfield, Michigan, and Jaqueline Jackson paid codefendant Rebecca Sharp, owner of Continuing Senior Care Co, Inc. and Marketing & Assessment, in Southfield, Michigan, each time Sharp referred a Medicare beneficiary to Jackson’s home health care agency, in violation of the federal health care anti-kickback statute. Kevin Watson was involved in numerous aspects pertaining to the operation of co-defendant Jackson’s home health care agency, Superior Home Care. On May 12, 2005, Jaqueline Jackson falsely certified in a cost report submitted to the Medicare Program that all of the services provided by Superior Home Care, Inc. in 2004 complied with all laws and regulations governing health services, including laws and regulations prohibiting direct and indirect payments for the referral of Medicare beneficiaries.
Under the plea agreements, Watson and Jackson each face up to 12 months' imprisonment, restitution to the Medicare Program in the amount of $933,492.87, and a fine of up to $10,000.00.
Berg congratulated the hard work of the special agents of the FBI for their efforts in pursuing this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Resnick Cohen.