Lawmaker charged in federal health care fraud case looks ahead to trial
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Outgoing state lawmaker Ed Henry returned to court Friday as he prepares to stand trial for 16 federal counts connected to a health care fraud investigation.
Henry was first indicted in June, a superseding indictment charged Henry with 16 counts including money laundering, four counts of conspiracy to defraud the United states, five violations of the anti-kickback statute, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and five counts of healthcare fraud.
Henry's company, MyPractice24, provided chronic care management services for Medicare Part B recipients. The government alleges Henry paid kickbacks to three doctors who referred Medicare Part B patients to his company, and filed false claims to get larger reimbursements. Something Henry vehemently denies.
"The truth is on my side, on our side," Henry stated. "I can't wait for it to come out."
Henry is positive about the possibility of exoneration, however he admits this prosecution has taken a toll.
"The pressure of the government, pressing down on you to cave and crash, it's astronomical," he stated. "I have no company. My partners needed to divest themselves of my presence."
During Friday's hearing Henry's defense attorney, Max Pulliam, expressed he will file a motion to dismiss charges related to the superseding indictment. He believes there's no material evidence to back up the government's allegations.
"What's currently in the indictment doesn't rise to a crime," stated Pulliam. "There were no kickbacks paid and there were no crimes committed. I want to bring to the court's attention on behalf of Ed of those facts-- that the indictment should fail and we ask the court to dismiss it."
The government alleges Henry provided kickbacks to two north Alabama doctors: Punuru J. Reddy of Decatur and Nichole Scruggs of Huntsville, and Montgomery doctor Gilberto Sanchez who pleaded guilty in a federal pill mill case.
"It should probably be criminal for individuals who pleaded guilty to a crime to then leverage some accusation against another individual for a shorter sentence," Henry stated. "That's what happened in this case."
Henry's confidence in the criminal justice system is wavering, but he says his faith is strong.
"God's in control of my life and my family's life, no matter what it takes we will endure," Henry said. "I can't see what's going to happen in the next several months, but I do know at the end of all of this it will be okay."
Henry and his two co-defendants, Reddy and Scruggs are scheduled to stand trial in February.
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