Three people are facing federal health care fraud charges after prosecutors said they conspired to obtain $4.7 million in Medicare payments for services never performed.
The trio worked as the administrator, medical director and clerk at a Schaumburg-based outfit that provided home visits by physicians. The company is called Medicall Physicians Group.
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Rick E. Brown, 56, of Rockford, is the president of Home Care America Inc., which controlled daily operations of Medicall, according to prosecutors. Dr. Roger A. Lucero, 62, of Elmhurst, is listed as Medicall's medical director. Mary C. Talaga, 53, of Elmwood Park, is described by authorities as a clerk who knowingly submitted false Medicare claims at the behest of her superiors.
According to the federal indictment, Brown and Lucero with Talaga's assistance submitted more than $12 million in Medicare bills between 2007 and 2011. Prosecutors said Brown instructed employees to bill Medicare for patient oversight and other services that were never provided while Lucero created backdated records to hide the fake bills and Talaga submitted bills she helped fabricate.
Brown was arrested and released on a $10,000 bond after pleading not guilty at arraignment. Lucero and Talaga will be arraigned at a later date, prosecutors said.
If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison.