FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Lavaca man was sentenced June 8 to 15 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $29,835,825.99 in restitution for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering.

According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office Western District of Arkansas, Billy Joe Taylor, 44, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering on October 27, 2022.

Court documents say Taylor and his coconspirators submitted more than $134 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare in connection with diagnostic laboratory testing, including urine drug testing and tests for respiratory illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, that were medically unnecessary, not ordered by medical providers, and not provided as represented.

The release says Taylor and his coconspirators obtained medical information and private personal information for Medicare beneficiaries and then misused that confidential information to submit claims to Medicare for diagnostic tests repeatedly.

According to court documents, Taylor and his coconspirators received more than $38 million from Medicare on the fraudulent claims.