Former State Rep. Ed Henry to plead guilty in kickback scheme

Former State Rep. Ed Henry to plead guilty in kickback scheme
Rep. Ed Henry

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Court documents indicate Ed Henry will plead guilty to charges surrounding a kickback scheme aimed to defraud a federal health care program.

The charges stem from Henry’s former business, MyPractice24, that provided chronic care management services for Medicare Part B recipients.

The charges are not related to Henry’s former legislative office.

The government alleged Henry's company would offer things of value to doctors offices in exchange for referring Medicare Part B patients to his business.

Wednesday morning, Henry's co-defendant, Dr. Nicole Scruggs, 46, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks in relation to a federal health care program. In open court, Scruggs said Henry's company supplied an employee to her practice at no cost in exchange for referring patients to his business. Henry's employee collected copays and fees from Scruggs' patients and identified patients to enroll in MyPractice24.

Scruggs tearfully entered a guilty plea at the end of the hearing. Scruggs will remain on bond pending sentencing. She could serve up to five years in prison.

Henry's notice to change his plea to guilty was filed Wednesday afternoon. It's unclear what charge or charges would be involved in Henry's guilty plea. His attorney Maxwell Pulliam was not immediately available for comment.

Henry is indicted on more than a dozen counts including money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the United States, violation of the anti-kickback statute, and conspiracy to commit heath care fraud.

Henry is also accused of offering the same kickbacks from government programs in exchange for patient referrals to other doctors, including Montgomery doctor Gilberto Sanchez, who is currently in federal prison serving time for running a pill mill.

“MyPractice24 would provide various kickbacks to Sanchez and his staff in return for the providers at Sanchez’s practice referring Medicare beneficiaries to MyPractice24 for chronic care management services," the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated after his indictment in 2018. “Among the kickbacks provided were direct payments to a member of the staff, free chronic care management services, free medical billing services, and free clinical services unrelated to the provision of chronic care management services. Additionally, Henry assisted Dr. Sanchez in paying kickbacks to patients who enrolled in the chronic care management program. Sanchez paid these kickbacks by systematically waiving copays, copays which Medicare required Sanchez to collect.”

Until Wednesday, Henry vigorously defended his innocence in this case.

No current court filings indicate Henry’s other co-defendant, Punuru Reddy, will change his plea

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