North Texas Woman Guilty in Multimillion-Dollar Conspiracy Involving the Sale of Forged Prescriptions
There’s an update to a case involving theft of patient identity information to support a fraud ring. As in the previous press release by DOJ, they do not mention the identity of the entity whose EHR system was compromised or misused by the criminals. A search on LinkedIn, however, indicates that a Lydia Henslee, who appears to be of the right age, worked for “Medpro” in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area as a client relationship manager for three years ending in July, 2019. There are a number of entities named Medpro in that area, however, and it’s not clear which one she may have worked for or whether that was in any way related to the ePHI theft.
The U.S.A.O. for the Eastern District of Texas announced on March 25:
A Denison, Texas, woman has pleaded guilty for her role in a conspiracy scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei today.
Lydia Henslee, 29, pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess and use means of identification in connection with various offenses today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine A. Nowak. Her co-conspirators, Demetrius Cervantes, 46, of McKinney, Texas, and Amanda Lowry, 40, of Sherman, Texas, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obtain information from a protected computer and are awaiting sentencing.
“Prescriptions are not for sale in the Eastern District of Texas — the monetization of patient information and fabrication of physicians’ orders will not be tolerated,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “This office will vigorously prosecute defendants who place profits over patients and manipulate the healthcare system for their personal gain.”
The defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury on Sep. 11, 2019, and were each charged with conspiracy to obtain information from a protected computer and conspiracy to unlawfully possess and use a means of identification.
According to information presented in court, the defendants breached a health care provider’s electronic health record (EHR) system in order to steal protected health information and personally identifiable information belonging to patients. This stolen information was then “repackaged” in the form of false and fraudulent physician orders and subsequently sold to durable medical equipment (DME) providers and contractors. Within approximately eight months, the defendants obtained more the $1.4 million in proceeds from the sale of the stolen information. The proceeds of the offenses were traced, which resulted in the discovery of the following forfeitable assets: a 2019 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged; a 2019 Dodge Durango SUV; a 2018 Polaris RZR XP4 1000 EPS; a 2019 Can-Am Outlander 450; a 2019 Sea-Doo RXT-X 300 W; a 2019 Sea-Doo RXT-X 300 W; and a 2019 Karavan Sea-Doo Move.
On Nov. 18, 2020, Henslee was charged in a ten-count superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to unlawfully transfer, possess, and use a means of identification, and nine counts of unlawfully transferring, possessing, and using a means of identification. Henslee was also charged in a separate superseding indictment along with Steven Churchill, 34, of Boca Raton, Florida, Samson Solomon, 23, of West Palm Beach, Florida, David Warren, 49, of Boca Raton, Florida, and Daniel Stadtman, 67, of Allen, Texas, with one count of conspiracy to commit illegal remunerations.
According to the superseding indictment, the defendants are alleged to have conspired to pay and receive kickbacks in exchange for orders from physicians that were subsequently used to obtain payments from federal health care programs. The conspirators obtained patient information, including protected health information and personally identifiable information, and used the information to create fictitious physician orders. The conspirators then sold the physicians’ orders to each other and to other DME providers. Within approximately eight months, the defendants collectively obtained more than $2.9 million in proceeds from the criminal scheme.
The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by federally funded programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE.
Under federal statutes, Henslee faces up to 15 years in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office. Henslee has agreed to forfeit $253,520.00.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld and Adrian Garcia and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bethany R. Pickett.