4 plead guilty in $7M COVID-19 test fraud scheme

Four people have pleaded guilty for their roles in a scheme to defraud insurers by billing for fake COVID-19 tests. 

Terrance Barnard, an Irving, Texas resident, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud on Sept. 14, according to a Justice Department news release. Mr. Barnard obtained private patient information through his work as lab technician, which he and his co-conspirators used to bill private insurers for COVID-19 tests never provided, and which patients never requested, the Justice Department said. 

Mr. Barnard and his co-conspirator, Connie Jo Clampitt, owned shell entities that purported to operate as labs conducting the COVID-19 tests. Mr. Barnard and co-conspirators submitted over $30 million in false claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Humana and Molina Healthcare, and received $7 million in reimbursements. 

Ms. Clampitt pleaded guilty to her role in the scheme in May 2023. Two other co-conspirators have also pleaded guilty in the case. 

Mr. Barnard faces up to seven years in prison for his role in the scheme. 


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