Politics /

James Biden’s Former Business Associate Pleads Guilty to $51 Million Healthcare Scam

  |   By Lou Dobbs Staff

Joe Biden (L) and his brother James Biden during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver (Credit: Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)

A former business associate of James Biden, Joe Biden’s younger brother, has pleaded guilty for his role in a massive healthcare scam.

According to the Department of Justice, 39-year-old Keaton Langston admitted to billing for unnecessary tests and orders on behalf of companies he had a financial interest in.

The press release stated:

A Mississippi man who owned, operated, had financial interests in, or was affiliated with pharmacies, durable medical equipment (DME) companies, and a laboratory today admitted his role in a health care fraud scheme that caused losses to Medicare in excess of $51 million, Attorney for the United States Caroline Sadlowski announced. Keaton Langston, 39, of Booneville, Mississippi, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael E. Farbiarz in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court: Langston and others owned, operated, had financial interests in, or were affiliated with pharmacies, DME companies, and a laboratory that Langston and others used to defraud health care benefit programs by offering and paying kickbacks and bribes in exchange for doctors’ orders for DME, genetic cancer screening tests, and compounded medications.

The pharmacies, DME companies, and laboratory submitted or caused the submission to Medicare of claims for reimbursement without regard to medical necessity, and sent a portion of the proceeds to others as payment for the doctors’ orders generated through the conspiracy. Langston and others concealed the payment of bribes, in part, by entering into sham contracts designed to make it appear that suppliers were engaged in and being paid for legitimate marketing and referral services based on the hours and expenses incurred or on a flat-rate basis.

The pharmacies, DME companies, and laboratory billed Medicare and other health care benefit programs at approximately $51 million for tests and orders that were the product of the illicit scheme. Langston received approximately $10 million from these reimbursements.

Langston was formerly a close associate of James Biden, who is not understood to have been involved in the scheme.

The New York Post explains:

Keaton Langston founded Fountain Health, a lab company, in May 2017 and offered its services to rural hospital operator Americore Health, which later went bankrupt. Records show James Biden was involved with Fountain Health in 2017 before connecting with Americore, which provided him in $600,000 in loans in 2018 as he allegedly vowed to use his political connections to secure foreign investors. James passed $200,000 of the funds to Joe Biden in an alleged loan repayment.

Shortly after the lab firm launched, Joey Langston emailed James Biden and his son Keaton and three others on July 12, 2017, about an upcoming “meeting for Fountain Health partners,” Politico reported in February. “Jim will report to the group the results of his discussions earlier today with a contact at [Blue Cross Blue Shield],” the elder Langston wrote. “There will also be discussion about how to proceed with the Union contacts that have been made by Jim and Keaton, within the last two weeks.”

James Biden is now seeking to “distance” himself from Langston. His attorney, Paul Fishman, previously claimed that his his client had “conducted himself ethically and honorably in all his business dealings,” despite evidence that he also traded off the family name with foreign governments.

Langston, meanwhile, is facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for October this year.

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