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Texas Physicians, Hospital Executive Pay $880K to Resolve Federal Lab Fraud Allegations

NEW YORK – The US Department of Justice said Monday that a group of Texas physicians and a hospital executive have agreed to pay $880,199 to resolve False Claims Act allegations that they participated in a laboratory fraud scheme that violated the Anti-Kickback Statute.

According to the DOJ, physicians Linh and Thuy Nguyen and Heriberto Salinas received payments from purported management services organizations (MSOs) in exchange for ordering laboratory testing from Little River Healthcare, Boston Heart Diagnostics, and True Health Diagnostics.

The DOJ also alleges that Peggy Borgfeld, the former controller, CFO, and chief operating officer of Little River Healthcare, was aware of the kickback scheme and submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare.

Linh and Thuy Nguyen agreed to pay $404,813 to resolve allegations that from October 2015 to February 2018, they received thousands of dollars in payments from Ascend MSO in return for ordering tests from Little River and Boston Heart as well as payments from MSO Geminorium in return for ordering tests from True Health.

Salinas agreed to pay $150,386 to resolve allegations that from December 2015 to May 2017, he received thousands of dollars from Ascend in exchange for ordering tests from Little River and thousands of dollars from MSO Herculis MG for ordering tests from Boston Heart.

Borgfeld agreed to pay $325,000 plus additional contingent payments to resolve the allegations against her and agreed to be excluded from participation in federal healthcare programs for five years.

The claims resolved by the settlements are allegations only and no determination of liability has been made.