A Missouri physician and one of her employees were indicted on healthcare and mail fraud charges, according to the U.S attorney's office in eastern Missouri.
Brenda Mills, M.D., of Wentzville, Mo., and employee Frisella Brown of St. Louis were indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of mail fraud and 20 counts of health care fraud for their part in a scheme to bill insurance companies for medical services that patients did not receive, the government alleges.
If convicted, Mills and Brown each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000 per count.
According to a Feb. 3 statement by U.S. Attorney Ray Gruedner, Mills and Brown between 1998 and January 2003 devised and participated in a scheme to bill insurance companies for medical services that patients had not received.
The government alleges a party to the scheme, Alice Jackson of St. Louis, referred accident victims to Mills for medical treatment for injuries purportedly sustained in the accidents. Jackson was then paid one-third of the money received from the insurance companies for fraudulent claims as a referral fee, the government said.
Mills and Brown allegedly misrepresented the nature and extent of patients' injuries, symptoms and treatment to induce insurance companies to pay larger settlement amounts and falsely billed insurance companies, using false medical records for patient visits and/or medical treatments that never occurred, Gruedner's statement said.
Jackson pleaded guilty in December to a related charge and awaits sentencing in March, the government said.