Former Owner of Chicago Health Care Company Sentenced to a Year in Federal Prison for Billing Medicare for Non-Existent Treatment

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

CHICAGO — The former owner of a Chicago home health care company has been sentenced to a year in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining $1.2 million from Medicare through a phony billing scheme. 

HENRY SMILIE was the owner and Chief Executive Officer of Home Physician Services LLC, which arranged in-home health care services for patients who were purportedly elderly and homebound.  From 2012 to 2014, Smilie participated in a scheme to defraud Medicare by submitting approximately $1.97 million in false claims, causing the federally funded program to pay Smilie’s company at least $1.2 million.  The false claims pertained to “care plan oversight” services that were either not rendered or involved treatment that was far less intricate than portrayed in the claims submitted by Smilie’s company to Medicare.

Smilie, 61, of Lake Zurich, Ill., pleaded guilty to a federal health care fraud charge.  U.S. District Judge Jorge L. Alonso imposed the year-and-a-day sentence Tuesday and also ordered Smilie to pay $1.2 million in restitution to Medicare.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General participated in the investigation.

“Smilie’s crime is a significant one,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kartik K. Raman argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.  “In a world that has limited funds to pay for health care, and where budgets are ever-tightening, Medicare paid Smilie and his company for fraudulent claims that could have been used to pay for necessary medical services elsewhere.”

To report health care fraud related to Medicare, log on to https://www.medicare.gov/basics/reporting-medicare-fraud-and-abuse.