Terrance Barnard, 40, of Irving, Texas, pleaded guilty today to submitting fraudulent insurance claims for COVID-19 testing, leading to a loss of over $7 million to insurers, according to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Leigha Simonton.
Mr. Barnard had been indicted in December and admitted his guilt today to Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft, along with Aiding and Abetting Aggravated Identity Theft before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez.
According to the plea documents, Mr. Barnard confessed to accessing private patient data, including names, dates of birth, and insurance subscriber numbers, at various clinics where he worked as a contract lab technician. He revealed that he and his coconspirators used "burner" phones to photograph patient information and accessed electronic medical records from clinics to gather extensive patient data.
They subsequently utilized this patient information to file claims with insurance providers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana, and Molina Health Care for COVID-19 testing that was never conducted. Patients were unaware that their information was being exploited to submit these claims.
Mr. Barnard acknowledged that the "labs" where these tests were purportedly conducted, including TC Diagnostics, ME Diagnostics, and PHR Diagnostics, were, in fact, sham entities that had never functioned as legitimate labs. These three entities collectively submitted approximately $30 million in claims and received over $7 million in reimbursements for fictitious testing.
Terrance Barnard now faces a potential sentence of up to seven years in federal prison. As part of his plea agreement, he has consented to a $7.29 million forfeiture money judgment and will forfeit various assets seized during the investigation, including $2.5 million in funds from multiple bank accounts, two residences, six vehicles, and six luxury watches.
Additionally implicated in the scheme are Connie Jo Clampitt, 52, William Paul Gray, 50, and Don Hogg, 37. Clampitt, Hogg, and Gray have each entered guilty pleas and are set to be sentenced in November 2023.