TYLER, Texas – A 54-year-old Houston Registered Nurse has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.
Beryl-Anne Tufon Lobe pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pay for patient referrals in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute today before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love.
According to information presented in court, Lobe, a registered nurse, was the sole owner of Axion Healthcare Services, LLC. Based in Missouri City, Texas, Axion provided home health services to Medicare beneficiaries in the Eastern District of Texas and elsewhere. From approximately May-August 2015, Lobe engaged in a conspiracy to pay for patient referrals, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute. To find eligible Medicare beneficiaries, Lobe made illegal kickback payments to community liaisons – also known as “recruiters” or “marketers” – who recruited and referred Medicare beneficiaries to Axion. Kickbacks were also paid to Medicare beneficiaries for the purpose of arranging for home health services. Axion then billed Medicare more than $225,000 for home health services purportedly provided to those beneficiaries who had been obtained through these kickback arrangements.