2 convicted of $8.9 Medicare scam in 4 Gulf Coast states

Markets Associated Press

Federal prosecutors say two owners of psychological service companies have been convicted of an $8.9 million fraud scheme that billed Medicare for unnecessary or nonexistent tests on nursing home patients in four Gulf Coast states.

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Attorneys said Wednesday that Slidell, Louisiana, residents Rodney Hesson and his mother, 63-year-old Gertrude Parker, plan to appeal.

Each owned companies in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

A jury convicted them Tuesday of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and of conspiracy to make false statements about health care. According to the news release, the jurors also found them responsible for $8.9 million in fraudulent payments.

Two psychologists who worked for them pleaded guilty last year, admitting $5.6 million in fraudulent claims.