North Canton Radiology Business Owner, Thomas G. O’Lear Convicted at Trial of $2 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
(STL.News) Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that a federal jury returned guilty verdicts today against Defendant Thomas G. O’Lear, 57, of North Canton, following a five-day trial before Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland. O’Lear was convicted of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid out of approximately $2 million by billing for x-ray related services that his company, Portable Radiology Services, did not provide, for making false statements to cover up the fraud and for committing aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, O’Lear was President of Portable Radiology Services (PRS), a company that provided portable x-ray-related services to individuals residing in nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities and long-term care facilities.
Beginning in January 2013 through December 2017, O’Lear submitted false claims for reimbursement to Medicare, Medicaid and Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) for services that he and his business did not provide, including for approximately 151 x-ray services purportedly provided to patients on dates after the patients had died.
Evidence also proved that O’Lear billed Medicare and Medicaid for purportedly having provided x-ray-related services to beneficiaries at nursing facilities on dates when the beneficiaries were hospitalized and not at the facilities; billed falsely claiming that x-ray services were performed on various dates, requiring separate reimbursement for transportation on each date; and billed one x-ray image as multiple images thereby requiring a greater reimbursement.
The jury also found that when O’Lear was audited by a Medicaid MCO, he covered up the scheme and committed aggravated identity theft by creating false medical records and forging the signatures of others, including a doctor.
As a result of the scheme, court documents state that O’Lear fraudulently billed Medicare, Medicaid and Medicaid MCOs approximately $3.7 million in claims, and received approximately $2 million in payments.
O’Lear is scheduled to be sentenced on August 2, 2022. Each of the health care fraud counts carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison. The false statements relating to a health care matter counts carries a 5-year maximum sentence, and the aggravated identity theft counts carry a mandatory minimum of two years in prison, which must be served consecutive to any sentence imposed by the Court on the other charges.
This case was investigated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, the FBI and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Ohio Attorney General’s Healthcare Fraud Section. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brendan O’Shea and Elliot Morrison.