AUGUSTA (WJBF) – A Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for organizing a scheme that paid workers to solicit elderly and low-income residents for information used to fraudulently bill government medical programs.
39-year old Patrick Siado of Houston, TX, was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $50,075 in restitution after pleading guilty to one count of Conspiracy.
After completion of his prison sentence, Siado must serve three years of supervised release.
As described in court documents and testimony, Siado admitted that he and unindicted co-conspirators hired individuals to solicit information and take DNA swabs from local low-income and elderly residents.
The individuals were paid $150 for each “patient,” with the information used by other conspirators to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid.
Siado would then receive an illegal kickback ranging from $100 to $575 per test accepted for billing, which typically generated a claim to Medicaid of more than $30,000 each.
“It is unacceptable that there are those in our society who will sink to a level so low and use Georgia citizens, specifically older, at-risk adults, as pawns for their financial gain,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “I commend the Augusta District Attorney’s Office and Burke County Sheriff’s Office for their work in protecting our most vulnerable. Our Office, through the Medicaid Fraud Division, will continue to work collaboratively with U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine’s Office and all other law enforcement to safeguard our healthcare system and those that depend on it.”
The Southern District of Georgia has now charged 30 individuals and companies as part of the nationwide crackdown on fraudulent genetic testing, and prescribing of orthotic braces and pain creams, identifying more than $1.5 billion in losses to Medicare and Medicaid.
Those who believe they might have been a victim of such a scheme should contact Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Thomas Clarkson at 912-652-4422.