We received a release this morning from the U.S. Attorney's Office inviting us to a noon-thirty press conference at the Earle Cabell, at which time U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña, Deputy Attorney General James Cole and a host of other federal officials would address "a major health care fraud enforcement action." We now know what that is, courtesy this dispatch from The Los Angeles Times: Rockwall's Dr. Jacques Roy, operating out of a DeSoto office, has been arrested and is being accused of bilking Medicare and Medicaid out of $375 million -- "the largest healthcare fraud case in the nation's history," according to the feds.
Says the piece, and another just posted by Bloomberg, Roy, his office assistant and up to 78 home health agencies recouped the dough for "nonexistent home healthcare services," which the doc used to fill bank accounts and spend on "a sailboat, vehicles and multiple pieces of property." Federal authorities, says The Times, are afraid Roy will try to flee and are asking he be kept in custody till trial. Also, says the piece:
Under the alleged fraud scheme, the doctor and his office manager in DeSoto, Texas, Teri Sivils, who was also charged, allegedly sent healthcare "recruiters" door-to-door asking residents to sign forms that contained the doctor's electronic signature and stated that he had seen the residents professionally for medical services he never provided.
They also allegedly dispatched more "recruiters" to a homeless shelter in Dallas, paying $50 to every street person they coaxed from a nearby parking lot and signed him up on the bogus forms.
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That shelter, per the indictment, would be The Bridge downtown. Authorities say this has been going on since '06, and that Roy faces life in prison if convicted. More details to come, including the indictment unsealed today.
Update: The 42-page indictment, which names several other home healthcare providers in and around Dallas, is below. And here's the Department of Justice's lengthy press release announcing the seven arrests. Says Cole: "Thanks to the historic partnerships we've built to combat health care fraud, we are sending a clear message: If you victimize American taxpayers, we will track you down and prosecute you."