Psychiatrist Pleads Not Guilty to $160M Medicare Fraud Allegations

Dr. Sharon Iglehart is accused of federal conspiracy, 2 health care fraud charges and a pair of allegations that she made false statements to investigators. The psychiatrist was indicted separately in the Riverside General Hospital $160 million Medicare billing fraud scheme. After being arrested in December 2013, Iglehart retained her freedom on $50,000 bail and pleaded not guilty to the twice amended 5 counts. Through her Iglehart Wellness Center, the psychiatrist allegedly participated in the Medicare scheme by submitting claims that falsely indicated she provided intensive outpatient services for severe mental illness. 

Former Riverside CEO and president Earnest Gibson III was convicted as the ringleader in 3 conspiracies involving Medicare billings for Riverside's psychiatric treatment programs from 2005 to 2012. The government alleged that $31 million in fraudulent reimbursement requests were paid for patients who were either ineligible for treatment or did not receive the reported care. His son, former group home owner Earnest Gibson IV was also convicted at trial and sentenced to 20 years. The elder Gibson received a 45-year sentence and his second-in-command, Mohammad Khan, received a 40-year sentence.

Stealing from the Medicare or Medicaid programs is one of the top criminal prosecutorial priorities for the U.S. Justice Department and those accused of fraud receive some of the nation’s longest sentences. Jury selection in Iglehart's case is set for August 31 and if convicted, she could spend up to 10 years in prison on each of her 5 charges.

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