LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs – An Aliso Viejo man has pleaded guilty to federal health care fraud charges for conspiring to pay kickbacks to an employee of the United States Postal Service in exchange for the illegal referral of postal workers to his physical therapy clinic.
Daniel Gallacher Parker Jr., 54, pleaded guilty in United States District Court in Los Angeles Monday afternoon to conspiracy, two counts of paying kickbacks and seven counts of health care fraud. The case against Parker relates to his operation of Cooperative Care Medical Group in Aliso Viejo. The clinic was later called Performance Health Medical Group, which also had operations in Garden Grove and Torrance.
The Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (OWCP) administers the workers’ compensation program for employees of federal agencies, including the Postal Service. The OWCP pays for medical care for federal employees injured at work, but the program will not pay for medical services or items that are provided as the result of a kickback paid by a medical professional.
By pleading guilty, Parker admitted that he conspired to pay kickbacks to an Injury Compensation Specialist at the Postal Service who agreed to refer injured postal employees to Parker’s clinics. Parker used a middleman to enter into an agreement with the Injury Compensation Specialist to disguise the true nature of the kickback scheme and to provide “legal insulation” for Parker. Parker had his co-conspirator pay the Injury Compensation Specialist $1,000 a month for the illegal referrals, but promised more money if enough referrals were made to Parker’s clinics.
After being asked to participate in the illegal kickback scheme, the Injury Compensation Specialist contacted administrators at the OWCP and fully cooperated in the subsequent investigation.
Parker is scheduled to be sentenced on January 22, 2007 by United States District Judge Margaret M. Morrow. Parker faces a statutory maximum sentence of 85 years in federal prison, although his actual sentence will be determined by the judge.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, IRS – Criminal Investigation Division, and the Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Jeannie M. Joseph
Assistant United States Attorney Gregory Staples