ST. LOUIS • A federal jury on Thursday found a former St. Louis podiatrist guilty of defrauding Medicare, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Dr. Dawn Rhodes, 43, of Atlanta, was found guilty of eight counts of engaging in a scheme to defraud Medicare and submitting false claims to Medicare.
Rhodes billed Medicare for $1.4 million between 2013 and 2017 by falsely claiming that she provided routine nail care to patients in nursing homes and residential care facilities, when she either didn't or the patients didn't have a medical condition, such as circulatory problems, that required the care, prosecutors said.
Her case is one of series of Medicare fraud prosecutions in recent years.
During part of the time, she worked for Aggeus Healthcare, whose CEO was sentenced to a year in prison in 2017, along with a former company officer. Aggeus Owner Yev Gray got 7½ years in prison and was ordered to repay $6.97 million.
“Today’s conviction of Dr. Rhodes is the culmination of a five-plus-year investigation resulting in a total of nine federal convictions, sentences to prison, and judgments requiring restitution of almost $7 million," U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen said in a prepared statement.
Steve Hanson, head of the Kansas City regional office of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, said, “Unscrupulous health care providers who improperly bill Medicare for non-covered services will continue to be vigorously pursued by our office in order to preserve the integrity of the program.”
Rhodes will be ordered to repay the money and could face years in prison when sentenced Aug. 13, prosecutors said.