The long-delayed federal trial of Jacques Roy, the Rockwall doctor whose alleged home health fraud scheme grew so vast that the feds put a six-month moratorium on Medicare payments in Houston and Dallas, has begun.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the trial started earlier this week, with prosecutors painting Roy as a disgraced man who developed a fraud scheme after his medical license was suspended and he could no longer find work. From 2006 to 2011, Roy and his underlings filed $375 million in false claims to the Medicare program. During that period, his practice, DeSoto-based Medistat, saw more beneficiaries than any other home health provider in America.
In all, Roy’s indictment alleged that the scheme reached 11,000 patients. More than 500 home healthcare agencies participated, sending their patients to Roy who would bill the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for fraudulent claims. Sometimes, they’d use his own stamp: “JRoy MD” cropped up on prescription pads and certificates of medial necessity.
Six of his associates have since pled guilty to their role in the scheme, even as Roy held firm to his not guilty plea. Some, like Cyprian and Pat Akamnonu, went knocking on doors to recruit false beneficiaries. Others went to homeless shelters, including The Bridge near downtown Dallas. These individuals were often given money or food to participate.
At the height of the scheme, companies associated with Roy were billing CMS about $2.3 million a month.
In 2012, the Office of the Inspector General found that nearly 40 percent of the nation’s suspicious home healthcare claims were being submitted in Texas. About 1,000 of 2,212 were questionable, and the OIG asked for a moratorium.
The trial expected to last at least a month.