Former Houston hospital exec sentenced to 45 years in prison for fraud.
The former president of a Houston hospital, his son and a third person were sentenced to prison Tuesday for billing Medicare $158 million for mental health services that were medically unnecessary or never provided.
Earnest Gibson III, the former president of Riverside General Hospital; his son Earnest Gibson IV, who operated one of the hospital’s satellite locations; and Regina Askew, a group-home owner, were convicted in October of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, conspiracy to pay kickbacks and related counts of paying and receiving illegal kickbacks. The Gibsons also were convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to a U.S. Justice Department release.
The elder Gibson was sentenced to 45 years in prison and his son was sentenced to 20 years. Askew was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Earnest Gibson III also paid kickbacks to patient recruiters, owners and operators of group-care homes, including Askew, in exchange for them sending ineligible Medicare patients to the hospital’s partial hospitalization programs, according to the government. Earnest Gibson IV also paid patient recruiters to do the same for his program, prosecutors said.
Proceeds from the fraud were used to further the scheme by paying kickbacks to patient recruiters and group-home owners for sending their Medicare beneficiaries to the programs, according to the government.