Psychiatrist Sentenced For Medicare Fraud - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

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Psychiatrist Sentenced For Medicare Fraud

Psychiatrist Dr. Cupid Poe Psychiatrist Dr. Cupid Poe
Delano Avent Delano Avent
Dr. Poe's daughter Dr. Poe's daughter

NewsChannel 5 Investigates first told you how a local doctor used a bizarre scheme to rip off Medicare.

Psychiatrist Dr. Cupid Poe admitted to using unqualified people to provide medical services to nursing home patients. He then charged taxpayers as if he had provided the care.

After our report, federal investigators arrested 69-year-old Dr. Cupid Poe and charged him with Medicare fraud. (Psychiatrist Accused Of Putting Price On Prayer)

Court documents show he charged taxpayers for nearly $70,000 of psychiatric care he did not provide.

He recently pled guilty to Medicare fraud and went in front of a federal judge to get his sentence, but he was not talking to investigative reporter Ben Hall. "Do you have any comment?" asked Hall as he left court.

Dr. Poe said nothing.

A judge sentenced him to four years probation. 

NewsChannel5 Investigates first detailed how Dr. Poe used his daughter and other unlicensed people to provide psychotherapy services to nursing home patients.

He then billed Medicare tens of thousands of dollars.

Delano Avent has no training as a psychiatrist, but according to court documents he actually treated six residents at the Briley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Nashville.

Avent described the way he treated patients saying, "I would ask them how they are doing? How do you feel? Did you like your lunch? Did you like your dinner?"

Pastor J.D. Russell and his wife said they had no idea Poe billed Medicare for their singing sessions at nursing homes.

"You wouldn't consider what you did psychotherapy?" asked Hall.

"No, picking and singing that goes no where near it," said Pastor Russell.

Poe's daughter was a licensed cosmetologist, but not a licensed psychiatrist - yet court documents indicate taxpayers paid for her to treat patients.

Dr. Poe told a federal judge he accepts full responsibility for not checking Medicare guidelines.  Court documents indicate he paid people some money for treating patients.

Dr. Poe must repay the government nearly $70,000. He apologized to the court, but there was no indication what he did with all the money.

"What did you do with the money?" asked Hall.

Dr. Poe got in his car and closed the door.

Judge Aleta Trauger called Medicare fraud a serious crime that contributes to high health costs for all of us.

She decided not to make Dr. Poe serve prison time and sentenced him to four years probation.  

Dr. Poe must repay the government for the fraud, and he also owes a lot of back taxes.  As part of his plea agreement he is no longer allowed to bill Medicare directly. 

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