Dr. Sharon Iglehart, a 58-year-old Houston psychiatrist, has been convicted by a federal jury of participating in a $158 million Medicare fraud scheme that involved filing false claims for mental health treatment, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Iglehart was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of health care fraud and three counts of making false statements. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 5, 2015 in a Southern District of Texas court.
According to the DOJ, Iglehart and others participated in a scheme to defraud Medicare by submitting approximately $158 million in fraudulent claims for partial hospitalization program (PHP) services to Medicare. PHP is a type of intensive outpatient treatment for severe mental illness.
The claims were submitted through Riverside General Hospital. Other participants have either pled guilty or been convicted of crimes associated with the scheme. The hospital's assistant administrator, Mohammad Khan, pleaded guilty to health care fraud and kickback charges was sentenced in late May. In October 2014, the hospital's president, Earnest Gibson III, as well as his son, Earnest Gibson IV, Robert Crane and Regina Askew were convicted for participating in the scheme. Five other defendants also pleaded guilty for their involvement in the scheme.
The DOJ said that Iglehart never provided mental health services to Riverside patients, and falsified patient medical records to make it appear that she had provided those services when, in fact, she had not. She allegedly filed fraudulent Medicare invoices through Riverside for six years, from 2006 until 2012.
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