Friday, February 13, 2009
Illinois Man Pleads Guilty To $800K Healthcare Fraud
Rickey Weir, 61, of Springfield, Illinois, pleaded guilty today to felony healthcare fraud charges. Weir who was originally charged on 16 counts of mail fraud, plead guilty to a single count, admitting that he conspired to bilk the government, insurance plans and patients out of more than $800,000. Weir, the business manager for Cardinal Respiratory, Inc. in Springfield, IL, double billed for medical supplies over a 10 year period, according to prosecutors. Weir was also suspected of transferring at least $300,000 to overseas accounts. He faces up to 10 years in prison plus a fine of $250,000. Cardinal Respiratory is owned by Weir's estranged wife, Dr. Janet Despot, an allergist. She previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of "balance-billing" Medicare patients and agreed to pay $2.8 million in fines and restitution.