CEO in nursing home podiatry scheme given 1 year in prison

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The former CEO of a healthcare company caught billing Medicare for unnecessary podiatry services for nursing home residents was sentenced last week to serve a year in prison and pay $1.8 million in restitution.

James Sayadzal was the CEO of Aggeus Healthcare, which had three executives and six podiatrists indicted in 2015 after authorities discovered the company's scheme to bilk Medicare for podiatry services delivered in long-term care facilities.

Podiatrists for Aggeus would tell nursing home providers that each resident could be treated without cost to the facility, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Aggeus' former owner, Yev Gray, would instruct the company's employees to bill for procedures that either weren't necessary or provided. At one point the company had outposts in 16 states, serving thousands of nursing home residents, the newspaper said.

Gray was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison earlier this year and ordered to repay $7 million to Medicare. Natalie Gray, Gray's wife and the former head of corporate and legal affairs for Aggeus, was sentenced to one year in prison and $1 million in restitution.