The owner-operator of a Broward County halfway house pleaded guilty Monday to participating in a Medicare fraud kickback scheme that sent residents to a fraudulent mental health company, according to the Department of Justice, FBI and Department of Health and Human Services.
69-year-old Barry Nash admitted to sending ineligible patients of his Starter House facility to American Therapeutic Corporation and its American Sleep Institute, with full knowledge that they would fraudulently bill Medicare for treatment purportedly received. Investigators say ATC and ASI ultimately billed Medicare for more than $200 million in medically unnecessary services, including $959,901 from Nash's participation.
Nash, who pled guilty before a U.S. Magistrate judge in Miami, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud when he is sentenced in March. At least nine other individual defendants at ATC, ASI, and a parent company have pleaded guilty or been convicted at trial.
The case was brought as part of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida's Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which since 2007 has charged more than 1,160 defendants that have collectively billed Medicare for nearly $3 billion.