A Boca Raton man pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to defraud the federal government and receive kickbacks and/or bribes in a $63 million health care fraud scheme. As part of the plea, announced yesterday by the Justice Department, Samuel Konell admitted that for approximately six years, he coordinated with criminal defendants in the state court system to funnel the defendants into mental health treatment in lieu of incarceration, despite knowing the patients were not mentally ill or otherwise did not qualify for the services.
In exchange for the referrals, Konell received a flat monthly rate based on the number of patients he referred, and also received additional payments such as holiday bonuses.
Federal law prohibits submission of claims to the government for services tainted by illegal kickbacks to induce patient referrals. As a result of the fraud, Konell’s co-conspirators caused the submission of over $63 million in false claims to Medicare. Eleven others have pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme.
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