Jury: Hospice worker guilty in health care fraud scam

Seth Gillman

A federal jury found a former Chicago hospice employee guilty in an elaborate $7 million health care fraud scheme that bilked taxpayers.

The jury delivered their verdict against Angela Armenta Tuesday night in federal court in Chicago.

Armenta was one of three employees of the now-shuttered Passages Hospice who were indicted in May 2014 for falsifying claims to Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary care for patients.

The co-owner of the hospital, Seth Gillman, along with two other employees have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Federal agents questioned patients, family members and nearly three dozen former Passages employees. Several reported the allegedly fraudulent billing and marketing practices to Medicare and law enforcement.

The indictment alleges that the scheme occurred between August 2008 and January 2012.

Hospice care is usually arranged for patients with a life-expectancy of six months or less. Hospice is frequently provided in a patient's home, but can be in hospital, nursing home or long-term care facility.
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