News Legit

Bribe-Kickback Scheme Lands 14 Texas Hospital Defendants in Prison and Millions in Fines

Fourteen defendants were sentenced to more than 74 years in prison combined and ordered to pay $82.9 million in restitution for their roles in a $200 million healthcare scheme designed to get physicians to steer patients to Forest Park Medical Center.

Now a defunct hospital in Dallas, the U.S. Justice Department made the announcement on March 19, 2021.

More than 21 people were charged in a federal indictment in 2016 for their alleged involvement in a bribe and kickback scheme that involved paying surgeons, lawyers and others for referring patients to FPMC’s facilities.

Those involved in the scheme paid and/or received $40 million in bribes and kickbacks for referring patients, and the fraud resulted in FPMC collecting $200 million. 

Several of the defendants, including a founder and former administrator of FPMC, were convicted at trial in April 2019 and sentenced last week. Other defendants pleaded guilty before trial.  

Hospital manager and founder Andrew Beauchamp pleaded guilty in 2018 to conspiracy to pay healthcare bribes and commercial bribery.

He later testified for the government during his co-conspirators’ trial and admitted that the hospital “bought surgeries” and then “papered it up to make it look good.” He was sentenced March 19 to 63 months in prison. 

Wilton “Mac” Burt, a founder and managing partner of the hospital, was found guilty of conspiracy, paying kickbacks, commercial bribery in violation of the Travel Act and money laundering. He was sentenced March 17 to 150 months in prison. 

Four surgeons, a physician and a nurse were among the other defendants sentenced last week for their roles in the scheme.

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