Head of hospices in US defrauded patients with incurable diseases for $ 150 million

The CEO of a group of hospice and home health entities in Texas was sentenced to 15 years in prison for fraud and money laundering for $ 150 million. His company falsely informed thousands of patients with terminal illnesses that they had less than six months to live and needed to be admitted to hospice for palliative care.

Hospice services require patients to be suffering from a terminal illness expected to result in death within six months. Not only were the patients not in such circumstances, Not only were patients not in such circumstances, they were walking, driving, working and even coaching athletic sporting events in some cases.

Henry McInnis, 50, of Harlingen, Texas, was convicted of conspiracy to commit health fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice, according to a US Department of Justice press release.

His accomplice, Rodney Mesquias, 50, owner of a Texas hospice and home care agency, was also sentenced to 20 years in prison in December 2020. Two other accomplices have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

According to the investigation, from 2009 to 2018, McInnis, Mesquias and other accomplices organized a scheme that involved filing more than $ 150 million in false and fraudulent claims to the Medicare.

– McInnis, as CEO of the Merida Group, directly oversaw a reprehensible criminal scheme that involved the submission of over $150 million in fraudulent bills, the falsification of patients’ medical records, and the payment of unlawful kickbacks, – said Acting Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid.

Witnesses at trial said that the head of the company ordered employees to keep unqualified patients on services and fired those who refused to participate.