Meridian Star

Local News

October 7, 2013

Woman charged in Medicare fraud bought 20 cars

JACKSON —

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Newly released court records claim the owner of a Mississippi hospice ran a multimillion Medicare fraud and used some of the money to buy 20 cars since December 2009.

The details about Angelic Hospice in Greenwood and its owner's purchases were outlined in a 27-page document dated Feb. 19 but only made public Oct. 3 in U.S. District Court in Oxford.

The document is an affidavit supporting prosecutors' efforts to seize cars and cash in the case. It said the hospice billed Medicare for millions of dollars services that were never rendered, sometimes involving forged documents.

Regina Swims-King was charged in June in a 37-count criminal indictment and pleaded not guilty. Her trial is scheduled for Dec. 2.

The hospice served numerous counties in the Mississippi Delta. It billed Medicare more than $11 million from 2007 to 2012, according to court records.

Swims-King is listed in court records as the person who wrote checks for the cars, though the vehicles were registered under various names, the court records said. The cars listed in court documents include a $92,000 Jaguar, a Lexus and a BMW.

Swims-King's lawyer, Cynthia Stewart, did not return a call seeking comment. A phone listing on the hospice website was disconnected. The website said the company was owned and operated by Swims-King and her husband, Robert King.

The newly released documents contain allegations that a hospice recruiter went door-to-door asking whether residents needed their blood pressure checked. The hospice then used their information to bill Medicare for services, prosecutors said.

In one example, authorities said the hospice billed thousands of dollars on behalf of someone who did not need hospice care and was healthy enough to walk several miles a day.

Some of the claims submitted to Medicare had the forged signatures of alleged beneficiaries and doctors, according to the indictment.

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