Former Shelby Co. hospital CFO pleads guilty to federal fraud charge
TYLER, TX (News Release) - The former chief financial officer of Shelby Regional Medical Center has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Joe White, 67, of Cameron, Texas, pleaded guilty on Nov. 12, 2014 to making a false statement before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love.
According to information presented in court, White was the chief financial officer for Shelby Regional Medical Center in Center, Texas, which was owned and operated by Dr. Tariq Mahmood. White oversaw the implementation of electronic health records for the hospital and was responsible for attesting to the meaningful use of electronic health records in order to qualify to receive incentive payments under Medicare's Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. On Nov. 20, 2012, White knowingly made a false statement to Medicare falsely representing that the hospital was a meaningful user of electronic health records, when the hospital did not meet the meaningful use requirements. As a result, Shelby Regional Medical Center received $785,655.00 from Medicare. White was indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 6, 2014.
White faces up to five years in federal prison at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the Texas Office of the Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OAG-MFCU), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth C. McGurk and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld.
Any individuals with knowledge of these or other health care fraud violations are encouraged to contact the Department of Health and Human Services' fraud hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (447-8477).