BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Two people, one of whom was a local businessman, are facing federal charges in an alleged Medicare scheme.
Both have been indicted in a conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay kickbacks. This is not the first time Acadian Diagnostics, now Pharos Health, has been involved in crimes with the federal government.
Local business owner Terry Wilks Junior is being accused of defrauding the United State and giving kickbacks to clients.
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. After he submitted claims to Medicare and TRICARE for reimbursements based on McHugh’s referrals.
McHugh was stripped of her nursing license by the Florida Board of Nursing after being caught using patients’ credit cards and with a narcotics violation. She, too, is being charged with federal crimes with Wilks.
In the indictment, text messages between Wilks and McHugh are used as proof of the alleged fraud.
“Hey, I need to get paid today before I leave if at all passible,” McHugh allegedly said.
“On it,” Wilks allegedly replied on the same day.
In 2020, Kevin Hanley, the former manager of Acadian Diagnostics Laboratories, pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and to pay and receive healthcare kickbacks.
We have made attempts to contact both Wilks and McHugh, but we were unable to receive a comment.