TAMPA, FLORIDA — A Florida licensed audiologist was sentenced to 94 months in prison on March 21st, according to a US Justice Department news release, for her participation in a multimillion-dollar health care fraud and money laundering scheme.
According the Justice Department, Terri Schneider, of Lakeland, Florida, was sentenced in the Middle District Court of Florida, where the judge also ordered her to pay more than $2.5 million in restitution.
Schnieder and her partner, David Brock Lovelace, were found guilty on all charges by a Tampa jury in December 2015. Charges included: conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, health care fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.
Lovelace, sentenced on March 7th, received a prison term of 174 months, and was also ordered to pay more than $2.5 milion in restitution.
False and Fraudulent Medicare Claims
During the trial, evidence was presented showing that over a four year period, Schneider and Lovelace used three different medical clinics in Florida to submit more than $12 million in false claims to Medicare, for services including audiology, radiology, cardiology and neurology services.
Of the false claims made, Medicare reimbursed approximately $2.8 million. Evidence at the trial showed that Schnieder and Lovelace were paid illegal kickbacks in exchange for access to Medicare patients and Medicare patient information used in their fraud scheme.
This case, which was investigated by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the FBI, was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its creation in 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged almost 2,000 people who collectively have billed Medicare fraudulently for more than $6 billion dollars.