A Baton Rouge woman who owned and operated a local psychiatric clinic was sentenced Friday to 7½ years in federal prison for her role in a $258 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Roslyn F. Dogan, 53, also was ordered by Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson to pay $43.5 million in restitution.
Dogan was a co-owner of Serenity Center, of Baton Rouge, on Lobdell Boulevard, and a manager and marketer for both Serenity and Shifa Community Mental Health Center, of Baton Rouge, on Goya Avenue.
Jackson also sentenced James R. Hunter, 48, of Houston, to five years in prison Friday and ordered him to pay $3.2 million in restitution. Hunter was a Medicare patient recruiter for a Shifa center in Houston.
Dogan was convicted in May of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and two counts of health care fraud. Hunter was found guilty of health care fraud conspiracy as well as conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks.
The federal and state investigation into the Medicare fraud scheme resulted in 17 convictions or guilty pleas, including a guilty plea from Baton Rouge psychiatrist Zahid Imran, who was sentenced in August to more than seven years in prison and ordered to pay $24 million in restitution.
Imran, 56, was medical director of Shifa’s Baton Rouge center and co-owned and operated Serenity. He also co-owned the Shifa facility in Houston. Imran pleaded guilty to health care fraud conspiracy.
Federal prosecutors said the three facilities involved in the scheme — the Shifa centers in Baton Rouge and Houston, and Serenity — filed fraudulent claims for psychiatric services that were unnecessary or never actually provided.
The scheme involved the busing of hundreds of people into Baton Rouge from Memphis, Tennessee, and other locations to attend therapy sessions at the Shifa and Serenity centers. The patients were rounded up from homeless shelters, nursing homes and other facilities, according to prosecutors.
The clinics took advantage of the elderly, drug addicts and chronically mentally ill persons by providing them with no services, inadequate services and clinically inappropriate services, prosecutors said.
The three companies collectively submitted more than $258 million in claims to Medicare for services over a period of seven years. Medicare paid roughly $43.5 million on those claims.