The owner of a Texas home health agency will serve eight decades in prison for his role in a $13 million Medicare fraud scheme, federal prosecutors said Dec. 8. …
Federal prosecutors have been targeting home health as an area that is prone to fraud and abuse, but this case is noteworthy because it resulted in the longest health-care fraud case sentence ever for Tilong, Melissa Jampol, a former assistant U.S. attorney who has prosecuted health-care fraud cases and is currently with Epstein Becker & Green in New York and Newark, N.J., told Bloomberg Law.
“What’s mystified everybody involved in this is that, not to belittle the crime here, but it’s a pretty run of the mill health-care fraud case,” Jampol said.
In contrast, Jampol pointed to the case of Salomon Melgen in the Southern District of Florida, which is in the sentencing phase. Melgen is an eye doctor involved in an over $100 million health-care fraud case.
“That’s way more than the $13 million here, and the prosecutors are asking for 30 years in that case,” Jampol said. …
Jampol said while health-care fraud is a serious matter, giving such a high sentence in Tilong’s case, in which individuals were not physically harmed, is “astounding.”
The case is also unusual because Tilong pleaded guilty halfway through the case while his wife did not. Yet he received a sentence that was five years longer than his wife who was found guilty at the end of a two-week court case, Jampol said.