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Lavaca lab operator claims not guilty in federal fraud, money laundering case

by Thomas Saccente | November 24, 2021 at 7:49 a.m.

FORT SMITH -- A western Arkansas man pleaded innocent Tuesday in U.S. District Court to 16 federal charges of health care fraud and one charge of money laundering.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark E. Ford scheduled Billy Joe Taylor's trial for 9 a.m. Jan. 10 in Fort Smith before District Judge P.K. Holmes. Ford also set a hearing for 1 p.m. Dec. 2, which could see Taylor get his bond revoked.

Taylor, 43, of Lavaca, was released May 26 on a $100,000 secured bond with conditions of release. However, a petition for action filed under seal Nov. 17 alleges Taylor violated conditions of his release. Taylor denied the allegations Tuesday.

Ford said proof of the allegations hadn't yet been presented. Ford allowed Taylor to remain out on bond pending the hearing on the matter, during which he said he would have to decide whether or not to put Taylor in custody before his trial.

Taylor, who owned or managed multiple diagnostic testing laboratories, was indicted on 17 charges Nov. 2, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice. He faces up to 10 years in prison for each count if found guilty, in addition to fines, according to Ford. Taylor was charged by criminal complaint in May.

A news release states that from February 2017 to May, Taylor engaged in a scheme concerning diagnostic laboratory testing that was medically unnecessary and not ordered by medical providers, in addition to testing not provided as represented. This included urine drug testing, covid-19 testing and other clinical laboratory services.

Taylor, according to his indictment, used diagnostic laboratories he controlled to submit more than $100 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, the news release states.

"The indictment alleges that Taylor obtained medical information and private personal information for Medicare beneficiaries and then misused that confidential information to repeatedly submit claims to Medicare for diagnostic tests that were not ordered by medical providers and were not actually performed by the laboratories," the release states.

Proceeds from the fraud allowed Taylor to live a "lavish lifestyle," the release states, which included buying multiple luxury cars, real estate, jewelry, guitars and other clothing and items.

Print Headline: Lavaca man pleads not guilty in fraud, money laundering case


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