Corporate Compliance

Louisiana man sentenced for $2 million Medicare fraud

Compliance Monitor, June 1, 2005

A Baton Rouge, LA, businessman who ran home health companies employing more than 100 people was sentenced to more than two years in prison on May 25 for billing Medicare more than $2 million for lawn care and pool service at his home, as well as for trips to resorts, The Advocate of Baton Rouge reported May 26.

Forty-seven-year-old Douglas Austin was also ordered to pay $2 million in restitution and a $50,000 fine, as well as spend three years in supervised release after his prison term is up, The Advocate reported. During his release, Austin is prohibited from owning or associating with providers who participate in Medicare.

"We had some serious loss here," U.S. District Judge Frank Polozola said during sentencing. "I'm not sure anyone would have gotten paid back but for people getting caught. This money is supposed to go to seriously needy people--not just people without money, but sick people."

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