Houston Man Pleads Guilty to Medicare Fraud

A 60-year-old Houston man has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud in an alleged scheme that netted him more than $2 million over a three-year period, according to a news report.

Robert Manning pleaded guilty to conspiring with five other people, including a Houston area doctor, to defraud Medicare through bogus billing for unnecessary diagnostic tests performed at the New Life Sleeping & Allergy Disorder Center in Houston. Manning and the others were charged with a 47-count indictment in June 2014.

Manning admitted that in 2008, he agreed to an arrangement whereby the manager of the clinic would pay him $125 for each Medicare beneficiary he referred to the clinic. Manning then said he paid other individuals to recruit Medicare beneficiaries for him, sharing the clinic payments with them. He also said he paid some Medicare beneficiaries directly to be tested at the clinic, which would then submit fraudulent bills to Medicare.

Manning said that he was aware the Medicare billing was fraudulent because the sole reason the beneficiaries went to the clinic for testing was because they were being paid to do so and not because they needed the tests. Over a three-year period, the clinic submitted false invoices to Medicare totaling $6.6 million for diagnostic testing and received payments totaling approximately $2.9 million.

A federal judge in Houston has scheduled sentencing for Manning for February 2016. Manning faces up to 15 years in prison and a potential fine of $500,000. As part of his plea deal, Manning has agreed to pay restitution of $2.9 million to Medicare.

The criminal charges are the result of a joint investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Criminal Investigation unit of the IRS, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General and the FBI.

The Cogdell Law Firm is a boutique law firm focusing on large, complex business and criminal financial-related litigation, including white collar criminal defense, securities fraud, health care fraud investigation, criminal appeals and state criminal defense. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or dan@cogdell-law.com.