A federal jury convicted a Houston-area hospital administrator on Friday for his role in a $16 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice
Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the
Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of
the FBI’s Houston Field Office, Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter of
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector
General’s (HHS-OIG) Dallas Region, Special Agent in Charge D. Richard
Goss of IRS Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) Houston Field Office, and
Unit Division Chief Stormy Kelly of the Texas Attorney General’s
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) made the announcement.
Starsky D. Bomer, 45, of Harris County, Texas, was convicted of one
count of conspiracy to pay and receive healthcare kickbacks, two counts
of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, and one count of conspiracy to
commit health care fraud following a five-day trial. Sentencing has
been scheduled for Jan. 28, 2019 before U.S. District Judge Vanessa D.
Gilmore of the Southern District of Texas, who presided over the trial.
According to evidence presented at trial, from 2011 until February
2013, Bomer and others engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare by
submitting to Medicare, through Atrium Medical Center (Atrium) and
Pristine Healthcare (Pristine), approximately $16 million in false and
fraudulent claims for partial hospitalization program (PHP) services. A
PHP is a form of intensive outpatient treatment for severe mental
The evidence presented at trial showed that Bomer, the hospitals’
chief financial officer and chief operating officer, orchestrated a
scheme by which he and others paid illegal bribes and kickbacks to group
home owners and patient recruiters in exchange for sending Medicare
patients to Atrium and Pristine’s PHPs. Bomer disguised bribes and
kickbacks as salary payments and transportations payments to group home
owners in exchange for patient referrals, the evidence showed. In
addition, evidence presented at trial showed that Bomer knew that most
of the patients admitted to Atrium and Pristine’s PHPs did not qualify
for and were never provided legitimate partial hospital services.
Evidence at trial demonstrated that Bomer and his coconspirators
billed Medicare over $16 million for psychiatric treatment purportedly
provided to PHP patients at Atrium and Pristine’s PHPs.
The case was investigated by the HHS-OIG, FBI, IRS-CI, OPM-OIG, and
MFCU. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Jason Knutson, Aleza
Remis, and Gerald M. Moody Jr. of the Criminal Division’s Fraud
The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which is
part of a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS to
focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current
anti-fraud laws around the country. Since its inception in March 2007,
the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in 12 cities across the
country, has charged nearly 4,000 defendants who have collectively
billed the Medicare program for more than $14 billion.