WASHINGTON (KXAN) — The Justice Department accuses six Texas doctors of taking kickbacks in return for referrals for laboratory testing.

The complaint filed Thursday alleges laboratories True Health Diagnostics (THD) and Boston Heart Diagnostics (BHD) and small Texas hospitals worked together to pay doctors to induce referrals to the hospitals for laboratory testing. The government said THD or BHD performed those tests.

The DOJ said Rockdale Hospital, which was owned by Little River Healthcare (LRH), took part in the scheme. KXAN reported in 2018 LRH filed for bankruptcy that July and informed the City of Rockdale on Nov. 30 it would shutdown the hospital on Dec. 7, 2018 due to “unforeseen business circumstances.”

According to the complaint, the hospitals paid a part of their lab profit to recruiters. Those recruiters allegedly then made payments disguised as investment returns the government said “were actually based on, and offered in exchange for, the physicians’ referrals.”

The Justice Department alleged in April lab tests were billed to various federal health care programs. It also said some tests “were not reasonable and necessary.” And DOJ alleges to increase reimbursement, LRH falsely billed the laboratory tests as hospital outpatient services.

The six doctors named in the federal complaint on Thursday are:

  • Doyce Cartrett, Jr., M.D., of Silsbee, Texas, allegedly received over $320,000 from LRH and two MSOs, Ascend MSO of TX LLC (Ascend) and Eridanus MG LLC (Eridanus), in return for his referrals.
  • Elizabeth Seymour, M.D., of Corinth, Texas, allegedly received over $280,000 from two MSOs, Ascend and Eridanus, in return for her referrals.
  • Emanuel Paul “E.P.” Descant, II, M.D., of Spring, Texas, allegedly received over $125,000 from two MSOs, North Houston MSO and Tomball Medical Management Inc., in return for his referrals.
  • Frederick Brown, M.D., of Missouri City, Texas, allegedly received over $190,000 from two MSOs, Ascend and Indus MG LLC (Indus), in return for his referrals.
  • Heriberto Salinas, M.D., of Cleburne, Texas, allegedly received over $75,000 from two MSOs, Ascend and Herculis MG LLC (Herculis), in return for his referrals.
  • Hong Davis, M.D., of Lewisville, Texas, allegedly received over $70,000 from two MSOs, Ascend and Herculis, in return for her referrals.