by | last updated on January 10, 2016

WASHINGTON – A Detroit-area patient recruiter pleaded guilty today for his participation in a Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Daron Elder, 28, of Southfield, Mich., pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. At sentencing, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, the advisory sentencing guidelines call for a term of imprisonment of 30-37 months, restitution in the amount of almost $3 million, plus a $1 million fine.
According to the plea documents, Elder was a patient recruiter for a medical clinic in the Detroit area, Blessed Medical Clinic. Elder paid indigent Medicare beneficiaries cash kickbacks to receive diagnostic tests that he knew were medically unnecessary. In return for the cash kickbacks, the Medicare beneficiaries allowed their identification to be used in the submission of fraudulent claims. The government will argue at sentencing that Elder’s conduct caused the submission of approximately $2.5 million dollars in fraudulent claims to Medicare.