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Hospital CEO guilty of six felony counts
In a case that should frighten every hospital administrator who thinks he or she won't be held personally responsible for criminal fraud, the former CEO and president of Archbold Medical Center and Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville, GA, is facing a potential 105 years in prison after being convicted of six felony offenses related to Medicaid fraud and obstruction of justice.
The United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, Michael J. Moore, JD, announced the trial results recently. Ken B. Beverly was convicted after a 7-day jury trial. Beverly had served as CEO and president of the hospital for 20 years.
Beverly was convicted on all six counts against him: conspiracy to falsify records, two counts of falsification of records, two counts of obstruction of justice, and one count of misleading statements.
Prosecutors alleged that Beverly participated in a conspiracy to falsely portray Archbold Memorial Hospital as a public hospital, controlled and owned by a governmental authority, in order to qualify for additional Medicaid funds. In fact, Archbold Memorial Hospital is, and always has been, a private not-for-profit hospital, Moore said.
Beverly conspired with former CFO William Sellers to create fictitious documents showing the City of Thomasville Hospital Authority owned and controlled Archbold Memorial Hospital, according to Moore. Beverly directed Sellers to send these fraudulent documents to the Georgia Department of Community Health in order for Archbold Memorial to receive funds as a public, rather than a private hospital, Moore said. Federal Medicaid officials had requested proof of Archbold's public status.
"Mr. Beverly's conduct is an example of extraordinary greed," Moore said. "He was willing to try and fraudulently obtain money from a public program specifically designed to guarantee that those who need medical care but can't afford it have a way to receive treatment. With the crisis in our health care system, this type of fraud and abuse is simply reprehensible."
Beverly was accused of attempting to induce Sellers to remain silent about Beverly's role in the conspiracy in exchange for Beverly's efforts to protect Seller's retirement benefits. The convictions carry possible prison terms of up to 20 years each, for a total of 105 years possible, plus monetary penalties.