CLEVELAND - Thomas G. O’Lear, 58, of North Canton, Ohio, was sentenced on Thursday, September 29, 2022, by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster to 15 years in prison and was ordered to pay $1,989,490 in restitution to Medicare, Medicaid and two Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). Polster pronounced the sentence after O’Lear was convicted at trial of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid of approximately $2 million by billing for x-ray-related services that his company did not provide, engaging in a cover-up scheme to conceal the fraud and committing aggravated identity theft.
“This defendant wrongfully believed that he could cheat taxpayers by targeting nursing facilities and using the stolen identifies of vulnerable or deceased individuals to cover up his tracks,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler. “Protecting taxpayers and government healthcare programs from fraud is an important priority for the Department of Justice and law enforcement.”
“Medicare and Medicaid providers who submit fraudulent claims for reimbursement and engage in identity theft undermine the trust placed in them by the beneficiaries that utilize their services,” said Special Agent in Charge Mario M. Pinto of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General. “We will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners to ensure that individuals who commit fraud against federal health care programs are held accountable.”
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“Criminal misconduct within the healthcare system is not only deceitful but also destructive,” said FBI Cleveland Special Agent in Charge Gregory Nelsen. “Mr. O’Lear’s schemes are appalling. Those who abuse their position of trust for financial greed will not be tolerated. The FBI and our partners will continue to work collaboratively to identify and investigate those committing fraud with the intention of bilking government programs.”
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, O’Lear was President of Portable Radiology Services (PRS), a company that provided portable x-ray-related services to individuals residing in nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities and long-term care facilities.
From 2013 through 2017, O’Lear submitted false claims for reimbursement to Medicare, Medicaid and MCOs for thousands of x-rays and related services that he and his business did not provide, including approximately 151 x-ray services purportedly provided to patients on dates after the patients had died.