A former hospice care company official was charged with wire fraud Wednesday and is accused of using a fake film tax credit scheme to divert more than $7.6 million from the company to his personal bank accounts.
U.S. Attorney Walt Green reported Wednesday that David Michael Pitts, 41, used his position as vice president of tax at Amedisys to run the scheme from October 2006 to May 2014.
Pitts was responsible for all tax matters with Amedisys, including the task of reducing and paying state tax for the company in states where it operated.
Amedisys provides home health and hospice services to about 380,000 patients across 37 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, Green said in a news release.
The scheme called on Pitts to use shell corporations, “Evergreen Incentives” and “Stonehenge Entertainment,” to sell fake tax credits to Amedisys. Pitts maintained a bank account for each of the fictitious businesses at Capital Bank and Regions Bank.
He presented false film tax credit transfer agreements to his supervisors for approval, which allowed him to purchase the credits on behalf of Amedisys and personally collect the amount Amedisys paid for them, Green said.
Between Oct. 3, 2006, and May 16, 2014, Pitts had Amedisys make 21 wire transfers totaling $7.6 million, he said.
Fred Crifasi, primary attorney in the criminal case, said Pitts is aware of the charges against him.
“He’s been completely cooperative with the government in this investigation,” Crifasi said, declining to comment further on the court case.
Crifasi confirmed that a civil suit was in progress against Pitts in the same matter and his understanding was that the civil case was pending, though he is not Pitts’ counsel in the civil case.
The Baton Rouge FBI office handled the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney René Salomon is prosecuting the case, the release says.
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