Date: June 19, 2020
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
William J. Hughes pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Hughes owned and operated Universal Oral Fluid Labs (UOFL), a clinical drug testing laboratory located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. From October 2011 to August 2013, Hughes, through his lab UOFL, entered into kickbacks-for-referrals arrangement with the co-defendant. Pursuant to this arrangement, Hughes agreed to pay the co-defendant to refer patients, including patients who were covered under the Medicare Program and Kentucky Medicaid Program, to UOFL for drug testing services in exchange for cash payments. Between September 2012 and August 2013, UOFL obtained $1,672,422.84 from the Kentucky Medicaid Program based on these referrals.
Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for November 9, 2020 at 1 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than 5 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Rachael L. Mamula is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Section conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Hughes.