Smith Co. husband, wife sentenced for health care fraud conspiracy

SMITH COUNTY - A husband and wife who owned a clinical diagnostic laboratory in Tyler have been sentenced for conspiracy to defraud Medicare, according to a press release issued Thursday by the United States Office for the Eastern District of Texas.

Gerard Dengler, 61, and Suzanne Dengler, 52, both from Tyler, pleaded guilty in January to charges of conspiring to commit health care fraud. Gerard will serve 24 months in federal prison, and Suzanne was sentenced to five years probation. The Denglers were also ordered to pay over $161,000 in restitution, which represents the loss to Medicare.

According to the press release, The Denglers owned and operated Elite Lab Services in Tyler. They were a Medicare provider and would bill Medicare for lab services provided to nursing homes in the ETX area, including the mileage to and from the facilities. From April 2014 to October 2014, the Denglers inflated the mileage charges and sought reimbursement through Medicare. 

A former employee filed a report, which sparked the investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General, the Texas Office of the Attorney General-Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Texas.

The Denglers and Elite Lab also settled with the United States Government for $3.75 million, which also resolved a separate civil lawsuit in which the United States sought to forfeit funds and property obtained by the Denglers and Elite Lab through their fraudulant conduct.

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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