Louisiana lab owner sentenced to 3 years in prison for $42M billing fraud scheme

A Louisiana lab owner was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay over $5 million in restitution for his role in a $42 million healthcare fraud scheme, The Advocate reported Sept. 14. 

Terry Steven Wilks owned Baton Rouge-based Acadian Diagnostic Laboratories. Beginning in 2015, Mr. Wilks paid a co-conspirator, former registered nurse Leslie McHugh, bribes and kickbacks in exchange for referrals to his lab for diagnostic testing, The Advocate reported. Over three years, Mr. Wilks' clinic billed Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare for over $42 million in fraudulent claims from the referrals.

Mr. Wilks created a shell company to conceal his kickback payments to Ms. McHugh, The Advocate reported. Ms. McHugh and Mr. Wilks both pleaded guilty to paying and receiving illegal kickbacks in April.

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