Lab testing company CEO, 7 others indicted in billing fraud scheme

The owner and CEO of a Tennessee lab testing company and seven others were indicted for their alleged roles in a $150 million Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said Aug. 5. 

The Justice Department alleges Spring Hill, Tenn.-based Crestar Labs CEO Fadel Alshalabi, 54, orchestrated a fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid billing scheme related to genetic testing. He was first charged in July 2021. 

The Justice Department claims Mr. Alshalabi contracted with marketing companies to target and recruit elderly patients who were federal healthcare program beneficiaries to get their genetic materials for conducting lab tests. The marketers, who were not healthcare professionals, then allegedly took swabs from the mouths of patients at nursing homes and senior health fairs, among other locations, and sent the tests to telemedicine physicians, who did not participate in the treatment of the patients. 

Patients or their treating physicians often never received results of the test, according to the Justice Department. Mr. Alshalabi and his co-defendants allegedly paid illegal kickbacks and bribes in exchange for the physician's orders and tests, without regard to medical necessity. From 2016 to July 2021, Mr. Alshalabi and the others allegedly billed Medicare and Medicaid for more than $150 million. 

The others facing charges are:

  • Edward Klapp, 63, former Crestar vice president of sales 
  • Melissa Chastain, 57, owner and CEO of Genetix 
  • Roger Allison, 64, president of Genetix 
  • Dakota White, 28, Crestar's former director of client services and vice president of operations
  • Robert Richardson, 53, principal of Freedom Medical Labs
  • Edward Burch, 53, principal of Freedom Medical Labs
  • Samuel Harris, 27, owner of Secure Health 

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