A New Iberia man was sentenced Thursday in Baton Rouge to 42 months in federal prison for his participation in a scheme that defrauded Medicare of nearly $1.1 million.
Ray Anthony Kirt, 45, admitted that he worked with former Baton Rouge attorney Alton Bates and others in the scheme.
“This sentencing sends a clear message to Kirt and others like him, that these types of crimes will not go unpunished,” U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux Jr. said in a written statement.
In March, Bates, 63, was sentenced to a 34-month prison term. The Louisiana Supreme Court announced Bates’ disbarment last year.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson noted that Kirt, who received more than $200,000 from the scheme, is a college graduate.
“I don’t know why you decided to make quick money the wrong way,” Jackson told Kirt. “You and Mr. Bates and others acted jointly to rip off the people. The court simply cannot ignore that.”
The judge said Kirt, Bates and four other people are jointly responsible for repayment of nearly $1.1 million to the nation’s health insurer for the elderly and disabled.
The others include Pineville resident Arnita Jefferson Horne, 60, and two Baton Rouge residents, 60-year-old Robert Ivory Levy and 43-year-old Juanita Anderson-Hilton.
The sixth defendant was Peggy Elizabeth Wiggins Mingo, 58, of Morgan City. Mingo is Kirt’s aunt.
All pleaded guilty earlier to felony charges.
Bates’ Baton Rouge firm, Above and Beyond LLC, was used to bill Medicare for psychotherapy services that were never provided to patients by licensed social workers.
Horne was sent to prison for 20 months.
Levy was sentenced to 15 months in prison.
Anderson-Hilton was sent to a halfway house for six months and placed on probation for three years.
Mingo was sent to a halfway house for eight months and placed on probation for three years.