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FBI: Humble Man Sentenced

HOUSTON—Lawrence Tyler, 42, of Humble has been ordered to prison for six years following his convictions of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, seven counts of health care fraud and one count of money laundering, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. A Houston jury convicted Tyler on May 12, 2014, following five days of trial and less than four hours of deliberation.

Today, U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr., who presided over the trial, handed Tyler a total of 72 months in federal prison. He was further ordered to pay a $1,238,823.85 in restitution and will also be required to serve a term of three years of supervised release following completion of the prison term.

Tyler, of Humble, ran a durable medical equipment company called from 2006 to 2008.

The evidence at trial showed that between January 2007 and December 2008, Tyler engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid. He falsely billed Medicare and Medicaid for so-called “ortho kits” which consisted of an assortment of various back, knee, ankle, wrist and shoulder braces. Tyler allegedly billed for equipment that was never delivered, billed for equipment using prescriptions from a physician who never treated the patients and upcoded—billed for a higher reimbursed brace but delivered a cheaper brace that either did not fit the billing code or did not qualify for any Medicare reimbursement. During the conspiracy, Tyler submitted approximately $2.4 million in claims for durable medical equipment and was paid approximately $1.2 million by Medicare and Medicaid.

The evidence at trial also showed that Tyler paid kickbacks to a recruiter named Birdie Leroy Revis in exchange for beneficiary information and false prescriptions issued by Revis’ cousin, Dr. John Perry. Many of the beneficiaries testified that they did not know Perry and had never been treated by him. Revis was convicted of illegally receiving kickbacks, while Perry was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud in separate cases.

In addition, the evidence showed Tyler conducted a monetary transaction in criminally derived proceeds when he withdrew approximately $140,000 from Wachovia Bank. The monies were proven to be the proceeds of the health care fraud conspiracy. Additionally, Tyler used these funds to purchase a house in Humble which the United States plans to forfeit in order to repay Medicare and Medicaid for the fraudulently paid claims.

Tyler will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The case was the result of a joint investigative effort of the FBI, the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Department of Health and Human Services—Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Special Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Bradley and Assistant United States Attorneys Adrienne E. Frazior and Vince Carroll prosecuted the case.

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