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March 22, 11

NEWS / United States District Court Sentences Psychologist for False Billings to Medicare/Medicaid

MEMPHIS, TN—Edward L. Stanton, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced today that Lorne Allan Semrau, 64, of Jackson, Tennessee, was sentenced by United States District Court Chief Judge Jon P. McCalla to 18 months’ imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution to Medicare and Medicaid in the amount of $245,435.86. Semrau was convicted by a federal jury on June 17, 2010, for three counts of submitting false and fraudulent claims to defraud health care benefits programs such as Medicare and Medicaid in Tennessee and Mississippi. The three-week trial was held before Chief United States District Court Judge Jon P. McCalla in Jackson.

Semrau was indicted in June 2007 and at that time was the owner, president and CEO of Superior Life Care Services and Foundation Life Care Services. According to the indictment, Semrau contracted with nursing homes in Tennessee and Mississippi to provide medication and mental health services to residents. Semrau then allegedly contracted with psychiatrists to perform the medication and mental health services pursuant to the nursing home contracts. As stated in the indictment, Semrau then implemented a billing scheme to defraud Medicare, Medicaid, and others by submitting, through his companies Superior and Foundation, claims for services that were not provided by the physicians and claims which Semrau knew to be false.

This conviction and sentencing follows an investigation by the United States Attorney’s Health Care Fraud Task Force in the Western District of Tennessee. Special Agents of the Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation-Medicaid Fraud Control Unit conducted this investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Stuart J. Canale and Kevin Whitmore handled the case for the United States.


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