Feb. 10, 2017 02:43 PM

A Lafayette health executive faces up to five years in prison and a quarter million-dollar fine on each of 14 counts he was convicted on in connection with a kickback scheme at a Shreveport mental health facility he managed.

U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley's office says 64-year-old Tom McCardell was found guilty by a federal jury following a four-day trial in Shreveport. According to Finley's release on the conviction:

According to the evidence presented, from July of 2011 to November 2012, McCardell operated a kickback scheme while he was administrator of Physicians Behavior Hospital (PBH) in Shreveport. He paid kickbacks to an Alabama resident, who had no medical training or background, to recruit and refer patients to PBH for psychiatric and substance abuse treatment. The hospital would then purchase bus tickets for the patients to travel to PBH in Shreveport. Many of the patients traveled unattended without escort. To avoid detection and suspicion, the defendant arranged for the kickbacks to be issued in the name of the patient recruiter’s son. The defendant also ordered PBH personnel to create an “employee file” in the name of the recruiter’s son in order to provide cover for the illegal kickback arrangement between the defendant and the recruiter. During the scheme, McCardell caused the hospital to pay the recruiter’s son checks totaling $41,000 to which he was not entitled. As a result of the illegal kickback scheme, the hospital billed more than $6.7 million dollars to Medicare and was paid more than $1.2 million dollars.

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