Owner of Ohio portable x-ray service convicted of fraud

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

May 3, 2022 -- The owner of an Ohio company providing portable x-ray services has been convicted of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid.

Thomas O'Lear, the owner of Portable Radiology Services (PRS) in North Canton, was convicted of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid out of approximately $2 million. The conviction by a federal jury came after a five-day trial in Cleveland.

O'Lear was convicted for billing for x-ray-related services that PRS did not provide, for making false statements to cover up the fraud, and for committing aggravated identity theft, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of Ohio. PRS provided portable x-ray-related services to individuals residing in nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and long-term care facilities.

From January 2013 through December 2017, O'Lear submitted false claims for reimbursement to Medicare, Medicaid, and Medicaid managed care organizations for services that he and his business did not provide, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. These services included approximately 151 x-ray exams purportedly provided to patients on dates after they had died.

In addition, other evidence presented at the trial demonstrated that O'Lear billed Medicare and Medicaid for purportedly having provided x-ray-related services to beneficiaries at nursing facilities on dates when the patients were hospitalized and not at the facilities. Furthermore, he submitted bills falsely claiming that x-ray services were performed on various dates, requiring separate reimbursement on each date.

When audited by a Medicaid managed care plan, O'Lear then covered up the scheme and committed aggravated identity theft by creating false records and forging the signatures of others, including a doctor, the jury found.

Approximately $3.7 million in claims were fraudulently billed to Medicare, Medicaid, and Medicaid managed care organizations over the course of the scheme, resulting in approximately $2 million in payments, according to court documents.

O'Lear is scheduled to be sentenced on August 2. Each of the healthcare fraud counts carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and the counts for false statements relating to a healthcare matter have a five-year maximum sentence. The aggravated identity theft counts also carry a mandatory minimum of two years in prison, which must be served consecutive to any sentence on the other charges, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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