BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The former CEO of St. Gabriel Health Clinic Inc. was convicted of a $1.8 million scheme of defrauding Louisiana’s Medicaid program Tuesday.

According to U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Gathe Jr., court documents and evidence showed that then-CEO of the clinic, Victor Clark Kirk of Baton Rouge, fraudulently billed Iberville Parish school programs to Medicaid as “group psychotherapy” services. While under contract with the parish’s school board, St. Gabriel Health Clinic was to provide primary healthcare services to students and mental health services.

“The Medicaid program was established to provide healthcare to those most in need,” said Gathe. “This verdict demonstrates that the Department of Justice, along with our federal and state partners, will marshal the necessary resources to protect the vulnerable who rely on that program as well as the taxpayers who fund it.”

The trial revealed that Kirk told practitioners to give false mental health diagnoses to students from 2011 to 2015. Gathe said testimony was heard from former practitioners, clinic employees, former school employees, and parents of students.

“I am proud of my office’s work with our law enforcement partners to help achieve this conviction,” said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. “The mental health of our State’s most vulnerable, especially in our youth, should not be jeopardized or compromised by fraudsters. I would also like to applaud our Special Agent Joseph Springer for his exceptional work that helped secure this conviction.”

Gathe said Kirk was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud. His sentencing is set for January 12, 2023.