Former hospital chief found guilty of fraud

A jury in Valdosta on Wednesday found the former CEO of Archbold Medical Center guilty on all six counts of Medicaid fraud.

Jurors deliberated two and a half hours before rendering the verdict against Ken Beverly. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Prosecutor Jim Crane cited ‘’large pensions’’ as the reason why Beverly and William Sellers, former Archbold chief financial officer, falsified documents to gain extra funds from Medicaid, reports the Thomasville Times-Enterprise.

Beverly left Thomasville-based Archbold in 2008 with a $6 million retirement package.

The six counts were conspiracy to falsify records; two counts of falsification of records; two counts of witness tampering; and making misleading statements.

Sellers had already entered guilty pleas on falsification charges, and he testified against Beverly.

The indictment alleged that Sellers, with Beverly’s knowledge and agreement, sent fake documents to the state Department of Community Health. The agency, which runs Georgia Medicaid, had requested that Archbold provide minutes of Thomasville Hospital Authority meetings that would show that the authority maintained control over the hospital. That documentation was necessary to prove Archbold was a “public” hospital and therefore allowed to receive the added government money – more than $9 million.

Prosecutors said the hospital authority actually had no operational control of the hospital, and met only once from 2000 through 2004.

Beverly and Sellers conspired to submit falsified minutes of meetings that made it appear that the authority ran the hospital, the indictment alleged. The grand jury also charged that Beverly pressured Sellers to lie about the CEO’s involvement with the falsified minutes.