Over the past couple of years, writing posts for the Allegiant Experts Blog has helped us to learn that both health care fraud and medical misconduct in the United States know no bounds. Atrocities in the medical industry are committed by people from all walks of life and from all spots on the map. We’re happy to report, however, that those who intentionally perpetrate such criminal activity, most often, find themselves behind bars.
You can add 47 year-old Shephard Lee Spruill to that list of perpetrators.
As reported earlier today by Cal Bryant of The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Spruill has been sentenced to 96 months in prison for his role in a health care fraud conspiracy. In addition, he will concurrently serve a 60 months prison sentence for perjury, have a three-year term of supervised release and be banned from participation in Federal healthcare benefit programs for life.
That’s not all. Spruill is also being ordered to pay nearly $6 million in restitution to the North Carolina Medicaid Program and the South Carolina Medicaid Program as well as another victim of his scheme. He is also to forfeit another $939,989.50 in criminal proceeds.
Many were involved in the conspiracy.
Spruill’s conviction resulted from an investigation of a number of individuals who were involved in a scheme to defraud several health insurance programs. Pitt County behavioral health provider, Terry Lamont Speller along with his biller, Donnie Lee Phillips II and another provider named Reginald Saunders (all three have been previously sentenced) worked together to take advantage of various Medicaid recipients.
Yesterday, the Eastern District of North Carolina branch of the United States Department of Justice released their official report on this case. As explained by the report, Spruill supplied hundreds of patient names and identifiers to Speller. Speller had Phillips bill the North Carolina Medicaid program for millions of dollars to cover mental health services that were never provided.
“Spruill, Speller, and Phillips split the fraud proceeds, with Spruill receiving his cut of the funds in the form of fictitious, no-document loan repayments,” the report explains, “Spruill appeared before a federal grand jury and lied about his involvement with Speller, falsely claiming that he had no business relationship with Speller.”
The report goes on to reveal that the investigation found that Spruill also defrauded the South Carolina Medicaid program by billing and being paid millions in fictitious services through another provider he owned. Spruill’s sentencing was announced by United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. in federal court this past Tuesday.
You can commit crimes with “lies instead of guns”.
“As we continue to combat drug dealers and violent criminals in our district, do not for a moment believe that we have given a pass to those whose steal from taxpayers through fraud,” he is quoted as saying in Bryant’s article, “This case shows our continuing resolve to bring all to justice, even CEOs who commit their crimes with lies instead of guns. This case also sends a message about the integrity of our grand jury system. Those who choose to lie in the grand jury will be held fully accountable.”
The Allegiant Experts team continues to be committed to helping attorneys who are trying cases against health care fraudsters. If you’re an attorney in need of clinical expertise, please don’t hesitate to call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.