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Description: Chicago, Illinois criminal law lawyer represented Defendant charged with attempt and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Rhonda Sutton, 58, of Matteson, worked as an unlicensed medical assistant for a physician in Chicago and surrounding areas from at least 2009 until at least 2012. In this position, Sutton conspired with others, including the owners of two home health care companies, to fraudulently certify Medicare beneficiaries for home health services for which those beneficiaries did not qualify.
Specifically, Sutton forged her physician employer’s signature on certification forms and supporting documentation, which caused Medicare beneficiaries to be enrolled in over 2,000 episodes of home health care at A&Z and Dominion home health agencies, both located in Lansing, Illinois. Sutton provided the forged physician forms to A&Z and Dominion, which enabled A&Z and Dominion to submit claims to Medicare for services that the beneficiaries did not need and were not qualified to receive. The owners of A&Z and Dominion paid Sutton kickbacks in exchange for the forged physician forms. A&Z and Dominion received over $6 million from Medicare due to Sutton’s fraudulent conduct.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr. for the Northern District of Illinois; Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge John S. Morales of the FBI Chicago Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Mario M. Pinto of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.
The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Chicago Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
Trial Attorneys Victor B. Yanz, Claire T. Sobczak, and Sarah W. Rocha of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Mott for the Northern District of Illinois prosecuted the case.
Outcome: Sutton was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.