law

A Kentucky woman pleaded guilty on Monday in Nashville federal court for her role in an alleged $86 million fraudulent billing scheme involving Spring Hill-based Crestar Labs owner Fadel Alshalabi. 

The now-defunct genetic testing lab and its owner allegedly paid kickbacks in exchange for genetic tests from Medicare beneficiaries, according to federal prosecutors, resulting in $86 million in Medicare claims since late 2017 — with $14 million ultimately being paid. 

The complaint states Alshalabi worked alongside Elizabeth Turner, the owner of a Kentucky telemedicine company, and Melissa Lynn Chastain, the owner of a South Carolina marketing company, to target and recruit elderly patients in federal health care programs to conduct medically unnecessary genetic testing. 

The feds contend they did this via door-to-door marketing, senior citizen fairs and nursing homes, administering mouth swab tests (results for which were rarely received by subjects) in exchange for kickbacks paid by Crestar Labs.

All of the parties were originally charged in July, and Turner pleaded guilty to the allegations against her on Monday. Alshalabi filed a response to the allegations under seal and the Post was unable to contact his representatives prior to publishing. 

Turner faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and whatever restitution is figured at her sentencing trial on May 2. Alshalabi faces a sentence of up to 10 years.