Chicago-area woman sentenced in cash-for-patients scheme

Updated 3/6/2018 10:00 PM

CHICAGO -- An 81-year-old suburban Chicago woman has been sentenced to 18 months in prison in a cash-for-patients kickback scheme in which she allegedly spent most of the illegal proceeds at area casinos.

A Tuesday statement from Chicago's U.S. attorney's office says Norma De la Cruz of Glenview paid recruiters $500 to $600 for each Medicare patient referred to her company, TLC Healthcare Services of Illinois Inc. It says her company defrauded Medicare out of more than $390,000 between 2012 and 2014.

Prosecutors say de la Cruz incurred around $245,000 in gambling losses around the time of the scheme and added another $76,000 in losses after being charged.

De la Cruz pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to offer and pay unlawful kickbacks. She was sentenced in Chicago federal court on Monday.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.