Indictment in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Charges of Health Care Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 04, 2010|
BATON ROUGE, LA—United States Attorney Stan Lemelle announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment yesterday charging RAY A. KIRT, age 44, a resident of Franklin, Louisiana, with ten counts of health care fraud, and PEGGY MINGO, age 57, a resident of Morgan City, Louisiana, with six counts of health care fraud.
The ten-count indictment alleges that KIRT formed, owned, and was a member of Above and Beyond, LLC (“Above & Beyond”), a business located in both Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and New Iberia, Louisiana. KIRT managed the location in New Iberia. Among other things, Above & Beyond purported to engage in the business of providing psychotherapy services to Medicare beneficiaries. The indictment alleges that beginning at least as early of March 2003 and continuing through at least in or about August of 2005, within the Middle District of Louisiana and elsewhere, KIRT employed and instructed unlicensed and unqualified individuals to visit Medicare beneficiaries and caused false claims to be submitted to Medicare. KIRT employed MINGO to prepare claims for submission to Medicare and together they caused others to submit false and fraudulent information to Medicare. The indictment alleges that KIRT and MINGO caused Above & Beyond to collect payments of approximately $1,063,873 from Medicare as a result of the submission of false claims. KIRT was paid approximately $270,215 for his participation in the scheme to defraud Medicare.
Mike Fields, Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas region of the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said, “This indictment further demonstrates that Medicare fraud will not be tolerated. The Medicare program is a valuable resource that must be protected.”
If convicted, KIRT and MINGO could receive a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. The court may also order restitution.
The case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys René Salomon and Catherine Maraist of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana.
NOTE: An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by the defendants. The defendants, of course, are presumed innocent until and unless they are proven guilty at trial.