Texas lab owner pleads guilty in $1.7M Medicare fraud

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A Plano, TX, lab owner has pleaded guilty to orchestrating a scheme to obtain $1.7 million from Medicare fraudulently, announced the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas in a statement.

Damon Heath Roberts, owner of JDS Labs, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to solicit or receive kickbacks for referrals to a federal health care program. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 28, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said that Roberts admitted that he and others, including medical providers and others with access to patient information, shared Medicare beneficiary information that JDS Labs then used to bill Medicare for over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests. In exchange for the information, Roberts paid kickbacks from the Medicare reimbursements to the individuals providing the patient information.

Roberts submitted almost $4 million in claims for the OTC COVID-19 tests; he received approximately $1.7 million in reimbursement. He paid out approximately $149,066 in bribes and kickbacks, attempting to conceal the kickback payments by paying in cash and using passthrough arrangements.

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