Press release from U.S Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Texas:
A 70-year-old Beaumont orthodontist has been sentenced to federal prison for health care fraud violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales Friday, Nov 8.
Terrence Ewing Syler pleaded guilty on June 18, 2013, to health care fraud and was sentenced to 22 months in federal prison Friday, Nov. 1 by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield. Syler was also ordered to submit to forfeiture of $829,000 and pay a $6,000 fine.
According to the information presented in court, Syler owned and operated Syler Orthodontics in Beaumont. From January 2007 to October 2012, Syler carried out a scheme to defraud Medicaid by submitting claims for palatal expanders which were never provided to his patients. As a result of the scheme, Syler received $829,333 to which he was not entitled. As part of his plea agreement, Syler has agreed to forfeiture of several bank accounts totaling just over $829,000.
The Texas Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid) is a health care benefit program, jointly funded by the State of Texas and the federal government, and helps pay for reasonable and necessary medical procedures and services provided to individuals who are deemed eligible under state low-income programs.
This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the Texas Office of the Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OAG-MFCU). Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice prosecuted this case.
Any individuals with knowledge of these or other health care fraud violations are encouraged to contact the Department of Health and Human Services’ fraud hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (447-8477).