Baton Rouge business owner pleads not guilty of defrauding public healthcare program, running kickback scheme

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Last month, Terry Wilks Jr., owner of Acadian Diagnostics Laboratories, now Pharos Health, was indicted in a conspiracy to defraud the United States by giving kickbacks, and on Tuesday, Oct. 12, he pleaded not guilty.

This is not the first time Acadian Diagnostics, now named Pharos Health, has been involved in crimes with the federal government.

According to the federal indictment, this all started back in August 2015 when he allegedly paid bribes and kickbacks for services, which is a federal crime.

Wilks is accused of paying former nurse, Leslie McHugh of Florida, thousands of dollars for referrals. Last week, McHugh pled not guilty. According to her attorney, Franz N. Borghardt, McHugh is under federal supervision in Florida.

She was stripped of her nursing license by the Florida Board of Nursing after being caught using patients’ credit cards, along with a narcotics violation.

Federal prosecutors are using text messages between Wilks and McHugh as proof.

Via text messages, McHugh allegedly said, “Hey, I need to get paid today before I leave if at all possible.”
Wilks allegedly replied, “On it.”

We reached out to Wilks’ representation, but have not yet received a response.

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