DALLAS, Texas — A licensed physician from North Richland Hills, Texas, Byron Felton Conner, 48, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud stemming from a scheme to defraud Medicare through the submission of false claims for physician home visits and home health care services. The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Conner, who remains on bond, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 5 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and may be ordered to pay restitution. Sentencing is scheduled for September 29, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle.
Conner is the fourth defendant to plead guilty in connection with a fraud scheme involving Paradise Home Health (Paradise), a home health agency that was owned and operated by Theophilus Adeoye, a licensed vocational nurse. Theophilus Adeoye, his wife and registered nurse Foluke Adeoye, and former Paradise employee, Stacey Shephard, all pleaded guilty last year.
According to documents filed in the case, from approximately March 2012 through September 2015 Conner worked with At Home Visiting Physicians as a contract physician serving patients throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. As part of the scheme, Conner signed physician orders for home health care that contained false information on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries who were not homebound or otherwise qualified for Medicare-covered home health care services. Conner knew that Paradise would use these falsified documents to support and justify fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare.
The FBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated. are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Douglas Brasher and John Kull are prosecuting.