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Ed Henry, Former Alabama Republican State Representative, Pleads Guilty To Medicare Fraud Related To Massive Illegal Narcotics Prescription Operation

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 11, 2019

Corrupt Alabama Republican Politician Ed Henry Pleads Guilty

Ed Henry was a Republican Alabama State Representative from State House District 9, and misused, and abused the people’s trust, and office for personal, private gain.

Ed Henry has decided to PLEAD GUILTY to Federal charges of Healthcare Fraud involving a Montgomery pill mill – a clinic that dispenses controlled substances wrongfully and unlawfully, for non-medical reasons.

According to the indictment, “The practice was a lucrative business venture. In 2014, the practice earned gross receipts of or about $4,352,352.63. In 2015, the practice earned gross receipts of or about $3,292.549.40. In 2016, the practice earned gross receipts of or about $3,087,530.25.”

Earlier, all other involved parties in that case had plead guilty.

ALL PLEAD GUILTY TO FELONY CHARGES

They include:

1.) Dr. Gilberto Sanchez MD (License surrendered) – age 56, of Cecil, AL; 5 counts; plead guilty to drug distribution conspiracy, health care fraud, and money laundering charges

2.) Dr. Shepherd A Odom MD – (License surrendered) – age 78, of Alexander City; 2 counts; part owner of Family Practice, 4143 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, AL until 2013 when he sold his interest to partner Dr. Gilberto Sanchez MD, though he continued to remain active, and launder money.

NOTE: Doctors Gilbert Sanchez and Shepherd Odom pleaded guilty prior to indictments in late 2017.

3.) Dr. Julio Delgado MD (ACTIVE License; License restricted) – age 56, of Homewood, AL; 22 counts; felony offense, aiding and abetting acquisition of a controlled substance by subterfuge, violation of Federal and State law

4.) Dr. Willie James Chester MD (License surrendered) – age 64, of Pike Road, AL
5.) Steven Edwin Cox NP (License revoked) – age 61, of Tallassee, AL; charged with 24 counts; pleaded guilty to two felony counts: conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and health care fraud.

6.) Elizabeth Cronier NP (License revoked) – age 70, of Montgomery; charged with 15 counts
7.) Stephanie Michell Ott RN (License revoked) – age 42, of Fairhope, AL

8.) Misty Michelle Fannin – Administrator – age 41, of Tallassee, AL, money laundering

9.) Farley Pugh – Office Manager – age _?_, of _?_, pleaded guilty to conspiring to make false statements related to health care matters. NOTE: Earlier, in 2010, the AL Supreme Court ruled in a case involving Dr. Sanchez, and noted that Farley Pugh, who was Sanchez’ employee, had forged the signature of one of the parties in the case, Donna McKinney, in a bond-for-title agreement. 2010 Supreme Court of Alabama, Ex Parte Donna McKinney and Marlin McKinney Petition for Writ of Mandamus, in re: Gilberto Sanchez v Donna McKinney & Marlin McKinney (Elmore Circuit Court, CV-09-900268)

10.) Ed Henry – GUILTY

11.) Lillian Akwuba NP (License revoked) – age 38, of Montgomery; 28 counts TOTAL; 14 counts Health care fraud, aiding and abetting; 8 counts Controlled substance – sell, distribute, or dispense; aiding and abetting; Conspiracy to distribute controlled substance; Attempt and conspiracy to commit mail fraud; 2 counts Controlled substance: sell, distribute, or dispense; Money laundering – interstate commerce; Interstate Commerce; aiding and abetting;

12.) Jacqueline Suzanne Brownfield – Billing – age 33, of Wetumpka, healthcare fraud
13.) Akash Kumar – Billing – age 27, of Montgomery, healthcare fraud

Johnnié Sanders, LPC page

14.) Johnnié Chaisson Sanders – Licensed Professional Counselor – (Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling LICENSE STATUS UNKNOWN) – age 48, of Wetumpka
Her page on the Healing Hearts Counseling website:
https://mentalwellnesscounselor.com/al/montgomery/johnnie-sanders/

License Number: 3130
Name: Johnnié Chaisson Sanders
Address: Healing Hearts Counseling Montgomery, AL 36117
Work Phone: (334) 425-5371
Expire Date: 7/31/2019

NOTE: In 2009, Ms. Sanders had earlier plead guilty to theft, fraud and aiding and abetting fraud charges in USA v Johnnie Chaisson Sanders, Case 2:08-cr-00204-WKW-TFM. USA v Johnnie Chaisson Sanders

Sanders provided bogus diagnoses of mental health conditions for the purpose of allowing Dr. Sanchez to support prescribing unnecessary medications. Sanders also collected cash payments from patients for counseling services even though she knew that Dr. Sanchez’s office would bill the patients’ insurance companies for the same services. On perjury, Sanders testified before a grand jury and falsely claimed that Dr. Sanchez did not require patients to undergo counseling sessions with her. In fact, as Sanders then knew, Dr. Sanchez required patients who received prescriptions for controlled substances to visit Sanders for mental health counseling.

Related News Releases by the Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Alabama:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdal/pr/one-physician-and-three-nurse-practitioners-charged-participating-operation-montgomery

Monday, December 11, 2017
https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdal/pr/another-montgomery-pill-mill-doctor-pleads-guilty-drug-distribution-and-money

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdal/pr/nurse-practitioner-pleads-guilty-drug-distribution-and-health-care-fraud-charges

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdal/pr/three-clerical-workers-charged-participating-operation-montgomery-pill-mill

Thursday, March 1, 2018
https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdal/pr/another-doctor-and-nurse-indicted-participating-operation-montgomery-pill-mill

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 –
https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdal/pr/physician-nurse-practitioner-and-nurse-plead-guilty-montgomery-pill-mill-case

Wednesday, May 30, 2018
https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdal/pr/mental-health-counselor-indicted-health-care-fraud-and-perjury-offenses-stemming

Dr. Gilberto Sanchez MD, of Montgomery – Family Practice clinic owner – plead guilty in Federal court to healthcare fraud, money laundering, and drug distribution violations, sentenced to 12 years in Federal prison

Dr. Julio Delgado MD, 55 of Homewood

Nurse Practitioner Lillian Akwuba, 38 of Montgomery

Nurse Practitioner Steven Cox, 62 of Tallassee

Nurse Practitioner, Elizabeth Cronier, 69 of Montgomery

Dr. Willie Chester MD, 65 of Pike Road, plead guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the fraudulent acquisition of controlled substances, admitting that he wrote a prescription for clonazepam, commonly known as Klononpin, despite knowing the patient had no legitimate medical need for the medicine.

Delgado and the Nurse Practitioners conspired with Sanchez to unnecessarily and illegitimately prescribe controlled substances to the patients of Family Practice, and committed health care fraud by causing insurance companies to be billed for unnecessary office visits, which only purpose was to refill unnecessary medications, and that Akwuba conspired with Sanchez to launder money.

Ed Henry was charged with one count of conspiring to pay kickbacks and to defraud the U.S., one count of conspiring to commit health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, five counts of health care fraud and six counts of paying unlawful kickbacks.

Ed Henry owned MyPractice24 which provided non-face-to-face chronic care management services to Medicare beneficiaries with two or more chronic conditions, and contracted with doctors to provided services who would bill Medicare for the services, then pay Henry’s company a share of the reimbursements from Medicare.

Ed Henry entered into an agreement with Dr. Gilberto Sanchez of Montgomery in 2016 in which MyPractice24 provided various kickbacks to Sanchez and his staff in return for referring Medicare beneficiaries to MyPractice24 for chronic care management services.

Ed Henry also assisted Sanchez in paying kickbacks to patients who enrolled in the chronic care management program which were paid by Sanchez by systematically waiving copays that Medicare required Sanchez to collect.

A corrupt Republican and former Alabama State Representative in House District 9 which includes parts of Morgan, Cullman, and Marshall counties, Ed Henry had a habit of saying very stupid things. He was also the state legislator who led the charge to impeach corrupt former Governor Robert Bentley who later resigned under a plea deal with state prosecutors.

Ironically, Henry was absent for most of the 2018 Legislative Session, and attempted to reassure his constituents that his absence was inconsequential by saying that, “I’m making sure nothing stupid happens in Montgomery, and as long as nothing stupid happens, I don’t have to be there.”

Screenshot of detailed map of AL SH D 9

Detailed Map Alabama State House District 9

Naturally, Henry plead “not guilty” to the 14 count, 36 page Federal indictment of conspiring to, and paying unlawful kickbacks, conspiring to, and committing health care fraud, conspiring to, and committing money laundering, all the while loudly and publicly proclaiming his innocence by stating that “I am not guilty of any crimes,” despite the fact that numerous others involved in the scheme to defraud and abuse taxpayers plead guilty, and/or lost their professional licenses.

Ed Henry’s Federal Indictment

His scheme involved kickbacks, attempting to change state law to benefit the company with which he was involved, mail fraud (because the United States Postal Service was used), money laundering, and abusive distribution of narcotics (operating a “pill mill”), among other charges.

Ed Henry’s Twitter biography – which feed hasn’t been updated since January 8, 2018 – states in part that he was “Trying to hold politicians accountable and make them answer to the people with zero regard for my own political life.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad, and Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division all investigated Ed Henry and others involved in the case.

As well, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, Montgomery Police Department, and the Opelika Police Department assisted investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan S. Ross was prosecuting the case for the people.

This is yet another feather in Alabama’s corrupt hat, 99.9% of which involve Republicans.

Alabama is a veritable pigsty, an unending cesspool of corruption.
Here’s a brief example of corruption in recent years under GOP dominated political control:

Robert Bentley – former Governor; The Republican Governor plead guilty to campaign finance and ethics violations – two State Misdemeanor charges – tied to his quasi-romantic-cum-official capacity relationship with Rebekah Caldwell Mason, amidst efforts to impeach him, and investigation into his misuse of office for personal gain, all related to his extramarital relationship to Caldwell, his mistress, whom he appointed to an executive level capacity.

Mike Hubbard – former Speaker of the Alabama State House of Representatives; In October 2014 the Republican was indicted on 23 counts, including 11 counts of soliciting or receiving a thing of value from a lobbyist or principal, four counts of using of his office as Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party for personal gain, one count of voting for legislation with a conflict of interest, two counts of using his office as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives for personal gain, four counts of lobbying an executive department or agency for a fee and one count of using state equipment and materials for private gain.

Mickey Hammon – former State Representative, House Majority Leader; In 2015, the Republican plead guilty to 2 counts of Federal mail fraud, was given an ownership interest in Trina Health because of his experience as an electrical contractor and his help opening an Alabama facility in 2015.

Greg Wren – former State Representative; In 2014, the Republican plead guilty to State felony Ethics violations after providing confidential documents to a medical company that year in a case related to the Hubbard investigation.

Marty Connors – former Alabama Republican Party boss; In 2016, the lobbyist was hired by Gilbert, knew Hammon was being paid by Gilbert, conspired with Hammon & Gilbert to hire Republican Representative Jack Williams as Chair of the House Small Business Committee to hold a public hearing on the bill (2016 – HB415) to change law to get BCBS to pay for a known ineffective diabetes treatment which CMS & FDA found ineffective – a Medicare/Medicaid Healthcare fraud.

G. Ford Gilbert – Carmichael, California resident, attorney & Trina Health business owner; In 2016, tried to push a bill through the Alabama Legislature that would force Blue Cross and Blue Shield to pay for known ineffective diabetes treatments at centers which he owned, and made payments to State of Alabama House Majority Leader Micky Hammon in exchange for his efforts on behalf of the bill (2016 – HB415) which would change the state law.

Jack Williams – former State Representative; In 2016, was recruited by Mickey
Hammon and Connors as Chairman of the Commerce and Small Business Committee to hold a public hearing on a bill which would exclusively benefit the company owned by Connors, in which Hammon had an interest. Early in his political career worked with Connors to found the Southern Republican Exchange, a political think-tank that provided policy ideas to state and local Republicans.

Randall M. “Randy” Davis – former State Representative, chairman of the House Committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections; Case not yet adjudicated; Indicted 2018, worked with Hammon to recruit investors in Trina Health and received “finder’s fees,” lobbied Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama for Trina Health to push a bill though to force BCBS to cover/pay for the “OIVIT” diabetes procedure for which insurers stopped paying after a 2009 CMS decision found it was ineffective.

The Federal indictment of the Trina Health fraud alleges an individual named “C.B.” knew Gilbert and Hammon, approached Hammon in 2014 with an offer to give an ownership stake in a Trina Health Clinic if Hammon recruited investors. Hammon brought Davis on board, and in a May 26, 2014 email from Davis to Hammon hoped that they “could make millions on this deal.”

In 2016, Hammon and Davis participated in an effort to pass a bill that would force BCBS to cover/pay for services Trina Health offered. The Federal indictment alleges Gilbert and “Lobbyist C” talked about a bill to disband BCBS — a highly unlikely occurrence — to force them to accept the prospective coverage legislation. Davis spoke in support of the bill before a legislative committee, but it did not become law.

Read: Federal Indictment Trina Health fraud, G. Ford Gilbert, Marty Connors, Jack Williams

Oliver Robinson – former State Representative; In 2017, the Democrat pleaded guilty in Federal court to accepting bribes from a Birmingham lawyer and an Alabama coal company executive from Drummond Coal from 2014-2016 in exchange for advocating their employers’ opposition to EPA actions in North Birmingham at a National Priority List EPA SuperFund cleanup site. Oliver Robinson Federal plea bargain agreement

Terry Spicer – former State Representative; In 2012, the Democrat admitted guilt to Federal Program Bribery by accepting bribes while in office, including cash payments ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per month during a period of more than four years; an all-expenses-paid ski trip for his family valued at $10,000; a one-time payment of $9,000; a $20,000 campaign contribution; and more than $22,500 in free concert tickets, in order to influence legislation.

Jane Smith – The Republican Madison County Circuit Court Clerk plead guilty to three federal misdemeanors for sharing her high-level password to the state’s judicial system computer records in 2009, avoided jail time, was fined $5000, and placed on one year probation.

Roy Moore – twice removed as Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary following complaint from the Judicial Inquiry Commission for violating the Canon of Judicial Ethics by disobeying a Federal Court Order, was later alleged during campaign for U.S. Senate by numerous credible victims and first-hand witnesses to have been dating underage teens and behaving in a sexual predatory manner while a 30-something aged Assistant District Attorney in his Etowah County residence. The statute of limitations had since long expired, and before laws changed. He then filed lawsuit in Etowah County against some of the female complainants – none of whom knew each other – alleging a “political conspiracy” against him in the 2017 Special Election for US Senate in Alabama, which he later dropped.

 

“I am not guilty of any crimes.”
– Ed Henry

“I am innocent of the charges that have been made against me.”
– Martin “Marty” Connors

“I have done nothing wrong.”
– Jack Williams

“I have done nothing illegal.”
– Robert Bentley

Measuring Illegal and Legal Corruption in American States: Some Results from the Corruption in America Survey
December 1, 2014
https://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/measuring-illegal-and-legal-corruption-american-states-some-results-safra

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