The DOJ announced that Kateline Lavache, a family nurse practitioner of Hampton, Georgia, was arrested June 1st for her role in a health care fraud scheme. According to the indictment, Lavache and her co-conspirators allegedly prescribed medically unnecessary durable medical equipment (“DME”), which includes equipment like wheelchairs, hospital beds, and oxygen monitors, to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for bribes and kickbacks. Lavache was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, as well as four counts of health care fraud. 

Lavache and her co-conspirators allegedly billed Medicare $8.8 million in fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary DME, and Medicare paid more than $4 million. Lavache had no prior relationships with the Medicare beneficiaries. She neither treated the beneficiaries, nor did she conduct proper consultations or even telemedicine consultations prior to prescribing DME. Lavache allegedly received more than $123,000 in kickbacks and bribes for her participation in the scheme.

If convicted, Lavache faces up to 20 years for the conspiracy charge and 10 years for each health care fraud charges. The FBI and Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General are still investigating this case. Trial Attorney Alejandro J. Salicrup of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting this case.

The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection with health care fraud charges and health care fraud investigations. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.