Head Of Texas Hospital Snared In Medicare Fraud Probe

HOUSTON (October 4, 2012)—Earnest Gibson III, the president of Riverside General Hospital in Houston, and his son, were among several people in Texas named in federal charges stemming from an alleged a Medicare fraud scheme.

Law enforcement efforts led to charges against 91 people nationwide in alleged false billings totaling $429 million, officials said Thursday in Washington.

In Houston, authorities arrested Gibson III, his son Earnest Gibson IV and five others.

The indictments accused the group of participating in a scheme to pay kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in programs that allowed the hospital to bill Medicare for millions.

In Dallas, two doctors and two registered nurses were charged with participating in more than $103 million in false billings.

At a news conference, Attorney General Eric Holder said the case reveals an alarming trend of criminal attempts to steal billions of taxpayer dollars for personal gain.

Holder called Thursday's action against Medicare fraud one of the largest of its kind.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that that in addition to the newly announced charges, her agency used new authority under the federal health care law to stop future payments to many of the health care providers suspected of fraud.

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