Houston Hospital President Gets 45-Year Sentence for Health Care Fraud

The former president of Houston’s Riverside Hospital has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud by billing Medicare $158 million for mental health services that were never provided or medically unnecessary.

Earnest Gibson III, his son Earnest Gibson IV and group-home owner Regina Askew were convicted last October of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to pay kickbacks and paying and receiving illegal kickbacks. In addition, both Gibsons were convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to the indictment, between 2005 and 2012, Riverside Hospital and its affiliates billed Medicare for mental health outpatient treatment for Medicare patients who did not qualify or need these services. Some of the patients were suffering from Alzheimer’s and would have been unable to participate in the outpatient treatment program, even if they had qualified.

Both Gibsons were also found guilty of paying kickbacks to individuals who recruited patients, including group-care home owners and operators. Earnest Gibson IV was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Askew received a sentence of 12 years in prison.

In addition, Earnest Gibson III was ordered to pay restitution of $6.7 million; Earnest Gibson IV was ordered to pay restitution of $7.5 million and Regina Askew was ordered to pay restitution of $46.3 million.

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