The former owner of a Wilkes County health laboratory has pleaded guilty to health care fraud after allegedly bilking Medicare for services that did not take place, federal prosecutors say.
Louis Francis Curte, 49, entered the guilty plea Wednesday in federal court in Charlotte, according to the U.S. Justice Department. He also admitted to filing false tax returns from 2007 to 2010, according to prosecutors.
In a separate civil settlement, Curte agreed to pay $300,000 to resolve civil fraud allegations against him and his company, Wilkesboro Clinical Laboratory.
According to prosecutors, Curte’s company was enrolled with Medicare and provided microbiology and other lab services. Court records show that from 2007 to 2009, the lab defrauded Medicare by submitting fraudulent claims for services that never took place.
Sentencing has not been set, but Curte faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the health care fraud charges, and up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine in the tax fraud case.
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