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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A federal grand jury had indicted 16 Texans for their part in a healthcare fraud scheme.

The indictment alleges that over a four-year period, the company Novus Health Services billed Medicare and Medicaid $60 million for fraudulent hospice services, of which some $35 million was paid to the company.

The defendants are accused of submitting false claims for hospice services, false claims for continuous care hospice services, and recruiting doctors and healthcare facilities for  patient information of individuals ineligible for hospice in return for money.

The defendants would allegedly decide whether to place, keep, or discharge a patient from hospice depending on how it would affect Novus’s ability to bill Medicare.

The defendants are:

  • Bradley J. Harris, 35, of Frisco
  • Amy L. Harris, 42, of Frisco
  • Melanie L. Murphey, 35, of Fort Worth
  • Patricia B. Armstrong, 33, of Coppell
  • Mark E. Gibbs, 46, of Lindsay
  • Laila N. Hirjee, 50, of Plano
  • Syed M. Aziz, 51, of Frisco
  • Reziuddin Siddique, 63, of Allen
  • Charles R. Leach, 64, of Arlington
  • Jessica J. Love, 37, of Gainesville
  • Ali Rizvi, 49, of Carrollton
  • Tammie L. Little, 55, of Brashear
  • Mary Jaclyn Pannell, 29, of Krum
  • Taryn E. Stuart, 32, of Sanger
  • Slade C. Brown, 47, of Plano
  • Samuel D. Anderson, 35, of Carrollton

Each defendant is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Twelve of the defendants are also charged with at least one other count related to the conspiracy.

If convicted, each person faces up of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.