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Owner of Lemont-based health care company admits to paying bribes

Sun-Times file photo

The owner of a Lemont-based home health care company admitted Wednesday in federal court that he paid bribes to medical directors in order to get referrals for patients enrolled in Medicare.

In a plea agreement, 47-year-old Romy Macasaet Jr., owner of Home Bound Healthcare Inc., pleaded guilty to one count of violating the anti-kickback statute, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office. He faces up to five years in prison at a sentencing hearing in February.

Macasaet, a Homewood resident, admitted he paid money to about 20 medical directors to get referrals for patients on Medicare for his company, federal prosecutors said. Between December 2006 and September 2014, Macasaet said, he paid $789,327 in bribes. As a result, Home Bound Healthcare received several million dollars in Medicare reimbursements.

As part of his agreement, Macasaet and Home Bound Healthcare are obligated to pay back $6.8 million to the United States, prosecutors said. He is also required to resign from Home Bound Healthcare within 120 days.

Additionally, Home Bound was required to enter into an oversight agreement with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services that will develop a program to ensure compliance with requirements of federal health care programs, prosecutors said.