DOJ Announces Arrest in $4 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

The Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs held a press release on Thursday in which they announced the arrest of Kateline Lavache. Lavache was arrested on Wednesday in Hampton, Georgia, for her alleged involvement in a fraud scheme in which her and her co-conspirators defrauded Medicare of over $4 million by submitting fraudulent and false claims.

Lavache reportedly prescribed medically unnecessary durable medical equipment, or DME, to Medicare beneficiaries. The durable medical equipment was prescribed without proper consultation, and Lavache “had no prior relationship with the beneficiaries, was not treating them, and failed to even conduct telemedicine consultations with them.” In exchange for the false prescriptions, Lavache received kickbacks and bribes from her co-conspirators.

The beneficiaries who Lavache prescribed the durable medical equipment to then submitted the false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. The claims totaled approximately $8.8 million. Medicare approved over $4 million of the claims, and Lavache received more than $123,000 in kickbacks and bribes for the role she played in the fraudulent scheme.

Lavache was charged on Wednesday with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud and four individual counts of health care fraud. If she is found guilty of the charges, Lavache will be subject to up to 20 years in federal prison for the conspiracy count. Each health care fraud count can result in up to 10 years in prison. The case is being prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section of the Department of Justice.