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THOMASVILLE & VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –A jury didn't take long to decide that a former Archbold Medical Center chief is guilty of six counts of fraud.
The federal trial against former Archbold CEO and president Ken Beverly began a week ago in a Valdosta U.S. District Court.
Prosecutors say he conspired with former CFO Williams Sellers to get Medicaid money the hospital was not entitled to receive by submitting forged documents.
Wednesday afternoon, jurors deliberated for just two hours and twenty-five minutes before unanimously declaring Beverly guilty on all 6 counts he was on trial for.
He will be sentenced at a later date.
Here is a news release from the U. S. Attorney's Office:
Former Archbold CEO Ken B. Beverly Convicted of All Six Counts Related of Medicaid Fraud
The United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, Michael J. Moore, announced that on December 8, 2010, Ken B. Beverly was convicted after a seven day jury trial of six felony offenses related to Medicaid Fraud and obstruction of justice.
Moore said, "Mr. Beverly's conduct is an example of extraordinary greed. He was willing to try and fraudulently obtain money from a public program specifically designed to guarantee that those who need medical care but can't afford it have a way to receive treatment. With the crisis in our health care system this type of fraud and abuse is simply reprehensible."
The trial took place in the United States District Court in Valdosta, Georgia, the Honorable W. Louis Sands presiding. Defendant Beverly was formerly the CEO and President of Archbold Medical Center and Archbold Memorial Hospital, Thomasville, Georgia, and served in those positions for over twenty years. Beverly was convicted of all six counts of the indictment:
Count One: Conspiracy to Falsify Records - 18 U.S.C. § 1519 /i/c/w § 371
Counts Two and Three: Falsification of Records -18 U.S.C. § 1519
Counts Four and Five: Obstruction of Justice - Witness Tampering - 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(1)
Counts One, Two and Three of the indictment charged Ken Beverly with participating in, and committing acts in furtherance of, a conspiracy to falsely portray Archbold Memorial Hospital as a public hospital, controlled and owned by a governmental authority, in order to qualify for additional Medicaid funds. In fact, Archbold Memorial Hospital is, and always has been, a private not-for-profit hospital. Defendant Beverly conspired with former CFO William Sellers to create fictitious documents showing the City of Thomasville Hospital Authority owned and controlled Archbold Memorial Hospital. Beverly directed Sellers to send these fraudulent documents to the Georgia Department of Community Health in order for Archbold Memorial to receive funds as a public, rather than a private hospital. Federal Medicaid officials had requested proof of Archbold's public status.
Counts Four and Five of the indictment charged Beverly with witness tampering by attempting to induce Sellers to remain silent about Beverly's role in the conspiracy in exchange for Beverly's efforts to protect Seller's retirement benefits.
Count Six charged Beverly with making misleading statements in a civil deposition when questioned about the fraudulent documents.
Count One carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five (5) years, a maximum fine of $250,000.00, and three (3) years supervised released. Counts Two through Six each carry a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years, together with supervised release of three (3) years, a maximum fine of $250,000.00, per count.
Defendant Beverly remains released on bond pending sentencing, which is expected to take place in about sixty days at a time set by the Court.
This case was prosecuted by the Assistant United States Attorney Jim Crane, together with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent Steve McDermond.