The “mastermind” behind a Medicare fraud scheme and an accomplice pleaded guilty this week to their participation in the fraud, which involved the use of health agencies to bilk the government out of $56 million.
Under the scheme, Mark Morad of Slidell, Louisana and Dr. Divini Lucciono of Kenner, Louisiana, allegedly worked together through multiple New Orleans-area companies owned by Morad to solicit Medicare beneficiary numbers. They then paid kickbacks to recruiters who obtained the numbers, and billed Medicare for services never provided, or not medically needed.
According to court documents, Morad ran the operation through several companies he owned, which included Interlink Health Care Services Inc., Memorial Home Health Inc., Lakeland Health Care Services Inc., Lexmark Health Care LLC, and Med Rite Pharmacy Inc. The companies claimed to provide home health services and durable medical equipment (DME) area Medicare beneficiaries.
Between 2007 and 2014, the companies allegedly submitted more than $56 million in claims to Medicare, a vast majority of which investigators say were fraudulent.
Morad pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to falsify records in a federal investigation. Dr. Luccioni pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Sentencing hearings for each are scheduled for April 1, 2015.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker