Healthcare Fraudsters Steal $1.1. Million Per Case, Outpacing Other Industries

Dallas was home to the largest healthcare fraud case in the country this year, as guilty verdicts came down for a number of defendants in federal court for $200 million worth of fraud in the Forest Park Medical Center case. Data from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners shows that when owners and executives commit fraud, healthcare executives take even more than other industries. Healthcare fraud adds to the healthcare costs of everyone, as insurance companies and employers that make fraudulent payments have to get that money from somewhere, often resulting in increased premiums that have contributed to the country’s skyrocketing… Full Story

Forest Park Fraud Trial Results in Guilty Verdicts for Seven

After four days of deliberations, the jury returned guilty verdicts for seven defendants in the federal bribery case involving Forest Park Medical Center. Though a sentencing date has not been set, defendants face between five to 65 years in prison. Announced by U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater, the jury decided that Wilton Burt, Jackson Jacob, Douglas Sung Won, Michael Rimlawi, Shawn Henry, Mrugeshkumar Shah, and Iris Forrest took part in the conspiracy to pay or receive healthcare bribes. After the verdict announcement, the Dallas Morning News described how Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Pfeifle requested that all defendants be detained on… Full Story

Forest Park Defendant: “That’s Not How it Works”

The Forest Park Medical Center trial continued Friday morning, with testimony from Dr. Michael Rimlawi, one of the 10 remaining defendants in the alleged $40 million kickback scheme at the for-profit hospital. Testimony was focused on the nature of the payments that were made to physicians. The government attempted to frame these payments as kickbacks that were connected to the volume of value of surgeries done at the hospital, while Rimlawi vehemently denied it. Rimlawi is the director and founder of the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute, and had operating privileges at the now bankrupt hospital. Rimlawi made the news when… Full Story

Forest Park Bariatric Director: “I Did What They Told Me To Do”

After 18 days and 47 witnesses, the federal government rested its case last week against defendants in the Forest Park Medical Center case involving $200 million in insurance payments that were influenced by alleged kickbacks and bribes. On Monday, the defense began with testimony from now-bankrupt Forest Park Medical Center’s Director of Bariatric Services Carli Hempel, who is being accused of selling Medicare and Medicaid referrals to other facilities because Forest Park was not eligible to bill those entities. Hempel worked for Forest Park from 2008 to 2011. She was recruited to Forest Park by Alan Beauchamp, a co-founder who pleaded… Full Story

The Government Rests Its Case Against Forest Park

After a morning session on Wednesday, the government rested its case against Forest Park Medical Center. They allege that the for-profit, physician-owned medical center located near Forest Lane and Central Expressway conducted a bribery scheme where it sent payments to doctors to direct surgeries to their facility, resulting in around $200 million in insurance payments between 2009 and 2013. What began as 21 defendants has been whittled down to a weight-loss surgeon, three back surgeons, a pain management doctor, a former top executive and three others affiliated with the hospital, according to the Texas Lawbook. They all deny any wrongdoing,… Full Story

Forest Park Founder Says They “Didn’t Hide Expectations” for $40 Million in Kickbacks

Forest Park Medical Center co-founder Wade Barker testified that the organization “didn’t hide expectations” from doctors and staff that the $40 million they received was for steering surgeries to the hospital, according to Law 360. Barker, a bariatric surgeon who pleaded guilty last fall, said that the payments were to get surgeons to operate at their facility, and that he knew what he was doing was illegal. Law 360 reports that Barker will be sentenced to 60-77 months in federal prison for the kickback scheme. Barker was the seventh of the 21 indicted individuals to plead guilty to being a part… Full Story

The Forest Park Fraud Trial Begins This Week

Ten defendants go on trial Wednesday in the Forest Park Medical Center trial, which involved $40 million dollars in kickbacks to doctors according to a federal indictment. A total of 21 people were indicted in 2016, though several have already pled guilty. The remaining defendants have denied wrongdoing. Dallas is already one of the most expensive places to receive healthcare, and it is also becoming a popular place for medical fraud. With $200 million at stake, 150 witnesses, accusations of helicopter purchases, and defendants claiming to have followed legal advice, the trial promises to be an interesting one. Form Matt… Full Story

Guilty Plea in Fraud Case From Forest Park Surgeon and Founder

Dr. Wade Neal Barker admitted to being part of a $200 million fraud, bribery and kick back scheme in federal court on Friday, the The Texas Lawbook reports. The bariatric surgeon helped found the since-closed Forest Park Medical Center. Barker is the seventh of the 21 indicted officials associated with the chain of luxury hospitals to admit guilt, according to the The Texas Lawbook. Barker is accused of handing out $40 million in bribes to cooperating doctors. As a founder with access to sources and documents, Barker’s plea may pay dividends for the prosecution. He could end up with a sentence of… Full Story

Next Health Owners Plead Guilty to Money Laundering and Kickbacks

Two men plead guilty in a medical kickback case in Dallas where doctors steered patients to certain hospitals and were paid for it, according to the Dallas Morning News. The owners of the Next Health network of pharmacies, Andrew Hillman, 42, and Semyon Narosov, 54, gave people $50 gift cards to urinate in cups at Whataburger bathrooms. The urine was sent for superfluous testing at Next Health labs acting as a wellness study, according to the DMN. The allegations came to light from a 2017 lawsuit in which United Healthcare sued Next Health for $100 million. Hillman and Narosov admitted that Next… Full Story

One Of The Forest Park Co-Founders Owns The 52nd-Priciest Home In Dallas

I mentioned this on Twitter this week, but I find it interesting enough to point out here, as well: Forest Park Medical Center co-founder Wade Barker made an appearance on D Magazine’s 100 Most Expensive Homes in Dallas list. At just about $12.5 million, his humble lair ranks No. 52, with 11 fireplaces tucked into 16,000 square feet. That feature, put together by D Editor Tim Rogers, is here. Barker was one of 21 people indicted in the massive kickback scheme at now-bankrupt Forest Park, the fallout from which continues to work itself out in the courts. Another pin fell last… Full Story