Shreveport hospital employee sentenced for kickback scheme

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A Shreveport mental health facility administrator learns his punishment for taking part in a kickback scheme.  

Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that Tom McCardell, 64, of Lafayette, LA was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to 26 months in prison on 14 counts of paying illegal kickbacks.

McCardell was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.

McCardell was found guilty after a four-day trial that ended Feb. 9, 2017.   

According to the evidence presented at trial, McCardell operated a kickback scheme from July 2011 to Nov. 2012 while he was administrator of Physicians Behavior Hospital in Shreveport.

McCardell paid kickbacks to an Alabama resident, who had no medical training or background, to recruit and refer patients to PBH for psychiatric and substance abuse treatment.

The hospital would then purchase bus tickets for the patients to travel to PBH in Shreveport. Many of the patients traveled unattended without escort.

To avoid detection and suspicion, the defendant arranged for the kickbacks to be issued in the name of the patient recruiter’s son.

The defendant also ordered PBH personnel to create an employee file in the name of the recruiter’s son in order to provide cover for the illegal kickback arrangement.

During the scheme, McCardell caused the hospital to pay the recruiter’s son checks totaling $41,000 to which he was not entitled.

As a result of the illegal kickback scheme, the hospital billed more than $6.7 million dollars to Medicare and was paid more than $1.2 million.   

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