More Executives Charged in Tenet Healthcare Fraud Scheme
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team
Several more executives were charged for their alleged roles in the $400 million fraud and bribery scheme involving Tenet Healthcare Corporation. The indictments follow the October 2016 guilty plea and half a billion dollar payout by Tenet and its subsidiaries for violating the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute. The allegations of the scheme originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The most recent indictments are part of the government’s continuing campaign to hold accountable those executives directly involved in the scheme. See DOJ Press Release.
The indictments were brought against Bill Moore, former CEO of Atlanta Medical Center; Edmundo Cota, former president and CEO of Hispanic Medical Management, Inc., which did business as Clinica de la Mama, and later Cota Medical Management Group, Inc.; and John Holland, former senior vice president of operations for Tenet Healthcare Corporation’s Southern States Region and CEO of North Fulton Medical Center. The charges included counts for paying and receiving health care bribes, wire fraud, falsifying corporate books and records, and major fraud against the United States.
According to the indictments, from approximately 2000 to approximately 2013 Holland, Moore and Cota engaged in a scheme to defraud the United States, the Georgia and South Carolina Medicaid Programs, and patients who attended Cota’s pre-natal clinics and were referred to Tenet hospitals. The indictments also allege that Holland and Moore caused the payment of bribes in return for the referral of patients to Tenet hospitals in the Southern States Region, including Atlanta Medical Center, North Fulton Medical Center, Spalding Regional Medical Center, and Hilton Head Hospital.
The indictments further allege that Holland and Moore took affirmative steps to conceal the scheme by, among other methods, circumventing internal accounting controls, falsifying Tenet’s books, records and reports, and making, and causing to be made, false representations to the federal government. According to the indictments, these bribes helped Tenet bill the Georgia and South Carolina Medicaid Programs for over $400 million, and Tenet obtained more than $149 million in Medicaid and Medicare funds based on the resulting patient referrals.