$158 Million Medicare|Scam Wrapped Up

HOUSTON (CN) – The ex-president of a Houston hospital was sentenced Tuesday to 45 years in federal prison and his son to 20 years for a $158 million Medicare fraud.
     The prosecutor said 70-year-old Earnest Gibson III and his son “saw mentally ill, elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries as commodities to be turned into profit centers – not as vulnerable individuals in need of health care.”
     The Gibsons ran the scam while the elder Gibson was president of Riverside General Hospital in Houston.
     The Department of Justice said the Gibsons and a third conspirator billed Medicare for $158 million for treatment that was never provided – that they “had patients sit around the facility watching movies while they received no treatment.”
     Gibson III was convicted in October 2014 after a 5-week jury trial. He also was ordered to repay $46,753,180 he got from health care fraud and conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks.
     His son, Earnest Gibson IV, 37, was sentenced to 20 years and ordered to pay $7,518,480 in restitution.
     Regina Askew, 50, an operator of group homes, was sentenced to 12 years and ordered to pay $46,255,893 in restitution.
     Co-defendant Robert Crane, a patient recruiter convicted of conspiracy and taking and paying kickbacks, will be sentenced on Dec. 9.
     Six other people also have pleaded guilty. Five await sentencing. Mohammad Khan was sentenced in May to 40 years in federal prison.

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