Opinion: Summers residing off the land influenced management type of Inuk CEO Clint Davis

Clint Davis says, “The key to success for indigenous businesses begins with medium and large companies opening up their sourcing processes to support underrepresented businesses beyond their normal suppliers.”

Illustration by Chief Lady Bird

Clint Davis, Inuk from Labrador, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Nunasi Corp., an Inuit development company headquartered in Iqaluit. Mr. Davis holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Acadia University, a law degree from Dalhousie University, and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, where he was a Canadian-American Fulbright Fellow. Prior to joining Nunasi, he was CEO of North35 Capital Partners, a corporate and capital advisory firm that worked with indigenous governments and business development firms to drive growth. Mr. Davis was also vice president of indigenous banking at Toronto-Dominion Bank. In 2016, Mr. Davis received the Indspire Award for Business and Commerce.

How has your upbringing influenced your perspective as a leader?

My mother was quite young when she had me, and that’s how my grandparents raised me. My grandfather was a hunter, fisherman, and trapper, and while he was in the country my grandmother raised nine children alone. As a child, my family went to our cabin on the Labrador coast every summer to fish and pick berries. It was and is a very remote area. There was no running water or electricity, just the forest and the river. The time we spent there was really about living on the land like in the past. These years in the country were very formative experiences for me.

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As I got older and worked mostly in urban areas, I felt especially blessed to have experienced this. Now I really cherish these memories and in spite of all the mosquitoes I base myself in these feelings of gratitude.

How has your Inuk identity influenced your career?

It has influenced and continues to influence my value system and how I make decisions, especially professional ones. If you look at my resume you can clearly see that I was down a certain path in the work I was involved in. This was not only because I found learning about indigenous law, politics, or economics intellectually stimulating, but also because the positions and organizations related to larger issues that were important to me.

The fact that my community was going through the land claim process sparked my interest in indigenous laws and guidelines. It was also the basis of my interest in broader issues that improve the socio-economic position of indigenous people through greater participation in the Canadian economy. Throughout my career I have always looked for opportunities to contribute because I have certain skills and thought that I could be of value in that regard. Being an Inuk is something I am very proud of and my identity has influenced me in so many important ways.

After working in both the public and private sectors, how do you think companies can learn from government?

I think government is very much about balance. When you work in the public service, you always weigh different interests, considerations in the allocation of your financial resources, and the complex consequences of the policies you follow. They get used to asking the question: How does this affect our citizens and improve society?

On the other hand, I believe that different industries and companies are gradually realizing that business is bigger than just maximizing shareholder wealth. I think that’s why ESG is growing in popularity [environmental, social, and governance] and socially responsible investing. I think the business is gradually realizing the need for balance and addressing issues and considerations that they have never had to deal with before. Some of these include indigenous rights, the environment, and equity, diversity and inclusion. Most of all, I think the government has a lot to teach in order to be a better corporate citizen.

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Can you briefly describe today’s “indigenous economy”?

The two main drivers of the indigenous economy are indigenous entrepreneurs with over 30,000 across the country, as well as jointly owned companies or development companies. While there is great diversity in their approaches, structures, and strategies, there are also some important things that they have in common. This generally includes a foundation of indigenous values, respect for the land, a long-term business vision, and a value for culture. Based on research by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, every entrepreneur places great value on recruiting, training, and developing indigenous peoples, although indigenous-owned businesses are small to medium-sized.

What are three keys to successfully supporting indigenous businesses and business owners?

The key to success for indigenous companies begins with medium and large companies opening up their sourcing processes to support underrepresented companies beyond their normal suppliers. By setting hard goals for these companies, a new market and customer base is created for indigenous companies. Additionally, the amount of money the Canadian government spends each year pales in comparison to the amount of money it could spend on indigenous businesses compared to what they could actually do. They recently made a public commitment to 5 percent of their procurement spending on indigenous businesses. Once that happens, it will have a profound impact on the indigenous economy.

I think some of the other keys to the support and success of indigenous businesses, especially in the communities, are the need for basic infrastructure. While this certainly affects things like buildings and roads, it extends further these days as well. When everything is online, it is very difficult to run a business when you live in a community where you have limited connectivity.

After all, not only do we need debt, we also need more organizations to inject equity into indigenous businesses. For example, I think organizations like the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association or Raven Capital Partners are vital in providing the necessary capital for startups through co-investment and financial innovation opportunities.

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What advice do you have for Indigenous youth reading the column?

Dream big, concentrate on your education and stay close to your identity and be proud of it. My wife and I keep telling our three children this. I believe this will help indigenous youth have a positive impact on their communities, their nations and the world at large.

Read more from our series of indigenous business leaders:

For Mi’kmaw educator Marie Battiste, inner growth is essential to being a leader

“Our survival depends entirely on living in nature, not on it,” says the indigenous rights attorney

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For Senator Murray Sinclair, leadership is defined by humility

Trust is the foundation of leadership, says Membertou First Nation Chief Terry Paul

We need to make economic reconciliation a priority, says Tabatha Bull, CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

For Tracy Bear, leadership begins with accountability, service, and connection with the land

For APTN managing director Monika Ille, leadership means honoring the history of her nation

Pause, Think, Listen: National Bank Financial’s Sean St. John on Using Indigenous Leadership Approaches

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About the series

Canada has a long history of dispossession, oppression and discrimination against indigenous peoples. However, the future is full of hope. The indigenous population is the fastest growing population in Canada. His youth catalyzes coast-to-coast change. Indigenous knowledge and teachings guide innovative approaches to environmental protection and holistic wellbeing worldwide. Indigenous scientists are leading the way in exciting new research in science, business and beyond. There is no better or more urgent time to understand and celebrate the importance of indigenous insights, culture and perspectives.

Optimism is rare in the media. And reporting on indigenous peoples often fails to capture their brilliance, diversity and strength. In this weekly series of interviews, we will involve Indigenous leaders in thoughtful conversations and share their stories, strategies, challenges and successes.

Karl Moore is a professor in the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in Montreal. He is also an Associate Fellow at Green Templeton College, Oxford University. He hosted a long-running video series for The Globe and Mail interviewing business leaders and business professors from the world’s best universities. His column Rethinking Leadership was published at Forbes.com Since 2011, he has built a worldwide reputation for research and writing on leadership, interviewing more than 1,000 executives, including CEOs, prime ministers and generals.

Wáhiakatste Diome-Deer is doing her Masters in Educational Leadership at McGill. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Brain Science from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and a degree from Harvard University, Massachusetts. She is an education, leadership, and indigenization consultant for organizations and schools, and previously held positions at the Kahnawake Education Center, the Quebec Native Women Association, and the Canadian Executive Service Organization. Ms. Diome-Deer is a traditional Kanien’kehá: ka woman from the Kahnawà: ke community.

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Okta CEO defends $6.5 billion deal for rival Auth0 after shares fall

Octa CEO Todd McKinnon on Friday defended his company’s move to acquire Auth0, citing the competitor as a complementary asset to its identity and access management business.

Okta stocks have since fallen 10% announced the all-stock transaction valued at $ 6.5 billion after Wednesday closing. The sales figure is more than a fifth of Okta’s market capitalization and a $ 1.92 billion valuation premium that Auth0 received after a round of funding last summer.

“This is a company that is about to go public and, as you know, public markets value public companies in some ways,” McKinnon told CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

He appeared on “Bad money“next to Eugenio Pace, the managing director of Auth0.

“If you look at how we rate it, the growth is positive for us,” added McKinnon. “We have actually paid many times more income that is slightly below ours but is in the same stadium.”

Auth0 is an identity management platform for app developers based in Bellevue, Washington. It competes with Okta, a $ 28 billion cybersecurity company based in San Francisco. Okta offers security tools to authenticate users, e. B. Password permissions and access to online networks.

Auth0 will act as an independent branch within Okta when the transaction closes in late July.

When asked about the need to acquire a different identity provider if Okta already has its own offerings, McKinnon said the merger would provide his company with a better way to tackle customer identity and access management.

He stated that the $ 30 billion personal identity market accounts for 75% of Okta’s sales, while the $ 25 billion customer identity market accounts for 25% of sales. Okta is more focused on out-of-the-box, pre-built solutions, while Auth0 is more focused on purpose-built app developers, he added.

Auth0 is “a product that is much more flexible, extensible, and does exactly what the developer has to do, and that’s why the two solutions together are so compelling,” said McKinnon. “They give customers great choice, flexibility, and value for money, and they really solidify that $ 25 billion [total addressable market]. “

Okta’s shares fell 4.54% to $ 215.96 on Friday. The company reported fourth quarter revenue of $ 234.7 million on Wednesday, up 40% year over year. A net loss of $ 75.8 million was reported, compared to a loss of $ 50.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

West Bloomfield CEO sentenced in $150 million well being care fraud, opioid, cash laundering scheme

The proceeds from the fraud were used to fund private jet flights, tickets to the NBA court finals and the purchase of luxury cars, jewelry and real estate, the DOJ’s press release said.

Rashid has also been ordered to pay Medicare more than $ 51 million in restitution, as well as property attributable to the program’s proceeds, including commercial, residential, and Detroit Pistons, to expire on season card membership, according to the Press release.

Rashid pleaded guilty in 2018 to a conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and cable fraud, as well as a money laundering count. 21 other defendants, including 12 doctors, have been convicted so far, including four doctors convicted after a month-long trial in 2020. Rashid is the second defendant to be convicted.

Wendy’s to hit 10% digital gross sales aim properly forward of schedule, CEO says

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed American businesses to use the internet to reach consumers, and so has it Wendy’s.

According to CEO Todd Penegor, who appeared on CNBC on Wednesday, the digital arm of the fast food chain is well on its way to getting a bigger share of the company’s total sales with the help of its loyalty program.

The company now expects digital to account for 10% of sales in 2021.

“We didn’t think we would hit 10% by 2024 before the pandemic,” Penegor Jim Cramer said in a “Bad money“Interview”. What we are doing is getting a lot of active users into our app and people are getting involved with the app. We’re seeing a lot more mobile orders and that’s really because there is an advantage. “

Wendy’s also found success in the breakfast menu it launched last year. While fewer Americans commuted to the office during the pandemic, which cut their chances of getting a morning breakfast sandwich or coffee at a restaurant, breakfast sales accounted for about 7% of total revenue last year, the company said.

Penegor remained optimistic about competing with other restaurants in the morning rush. He expects the breakfast menu to account for 10% of sales by the end of 2022.

“The breakfast business is doing quite well in the face of the pandemic,” he said. “For us it is remarkable and very encouraging to be able to achieve a sales mix of 7% on our breakfast day. … What we see is a strong repetition.”

On the previous Wednesday, Wendy reported fourth quarter results that missed Wall Street’s estimates of both profit and profit. The company posted total revenue of $ 474.3 million for the quarter, up 11% from $ 427.2 last year, and net income of $ 38.7 million, up 46% from $ 26.5 million. USD. According to FactSet, analysts were looking for revenue of approximately $ 476.6 million and net income of $ 39.9 million.

For the full year, Wendy’s posted revenue of $ 1.73 million, an increase of 1.5% and a decrease of $ 117.8 million, a decrease of 14% from 2019.

US restaurant revenue increased 5.5% for the quarter and 2% for the full year.

Wendy’s shares fell more than 5% on Wednesday to a closing price of $ 20.12.

CEO Sentenced to Jail in $150 Million Well being Care Fraud, Opioid Distribution, and Cash Laundering Scheme | OPA

The chief executive officer of a Michigan and Ohio-based group of pain clinics and other medical providers was sentenced to 15 years in prison today for developing and approving a company policy to re-inject patients unnecessarily in exchange for prescriptions for over 6.6 million doses administering medically unnecessary opioids.

Mashiyat Rashid, 40, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, was the CEO of the Tri-County Wellness Group of medical providers in Michigan and Ohio. In addition to serving his sentence, Rashid was also ordered to pay Medicare more than $ 51 million in restitution and forfeit property to the United States that resulted from revenues from the healthcare fraud program, including over 11 commercial real estate, $ 5 million. Residential Properties and a Detroit Pistons Season Pass membership.

Rashid pleaded guilty in 2018 to a number of conspiracies to commit healthcare and cable fraud; and to a number of money laundering. 21 other defendants, including 12 doctors, have been convicted so far, including four doctors convicted after a month-long trial in 2020. Rashid is the second defendant to be convicted.

According to court records, Rashid was the CEO of the Tri-County Wellness Group from 2008 to 2016, where the clinics wanted to offer prescriptions of Oxycodone 30 mg to patients, some of whom were in legitimate pain and others were drug dealers or opioid addicts, but forced patients to undergo unnecessary re-injections in exchange for prescriptions.

The study found that in some cases, patients experienced more pain from the gunshots than from the pain they allegedly treated. that audible screams from patients were observed in all clinics; and that some patients developed adverse conditions including open holes in their backs. Patients, including opioid addicts, who told doctors they didn’t want, needed, or benefited from the injections were denied medication by the defendants and their co-conspirators until they agreed to submit to the expensive and unnecessary injections. The evidence also showed that the defendants repeatedly performed these unnecessary injections on patients, as Tri-County paid more for facet joint syringes than any other medical clinic in the United States.

The evidence at the trial showed that the Tri-County clinics made a point of making money through patient care. The tri-county clinics deliberately targeted the Medicare program, recruiting patients from homeless shelters and soup kitchens. The evidence at the trial showed that Rashid only hired doctors who were willing to disregard patient care when looking for money. Rashid motivated doctors to follow the Tri-County Protocol, offer opioid prescriptions, and give unnecessary injections by offering to split Medicare reimbursements for these lucrative procedures. The specific injections used had nothing to do with the medical needs of the patients but were selected for administration as they were the highest paying injection methods. A former Tri-County employee testified at the trial of Rashid’s co-defendants that the clinic’s practices were “barbaric.”

Deputy Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Department of Justice’s Department of Criminal Investigation; Acting US attorney Saima Shafiq Mohsin of the Eastern District of Michigan; Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the US Department of Health’s Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) in Chicago; Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office; and the special agent in charge Manny Muriel of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Detroit announced this.

HHS-OIG, FBI and IRS-CI conducted the investigation. Deputy Chief Jacob Foster of the National Rapid Response Strike Force and trial attorney Tom Tynan of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Division were pursuing the case.

The fraud department heads the Health Care Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Health Care Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces in 24 districts, has indicted more than 4,200 defendants who billed the Medicare program a total of nearly $ 19 billion. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are working with the HHS-OIG to take steps to increase accountability and reduce the presence of fraudulent providers.

Aphria CEO hopes to see weed totally legalized in U.S. in 2 to three years

Aphria CEO Irwin Simon told CNBC on Wednesday that he hopes marijuana will be fully legalized in the United States in the next two to three years. However, the pot executive expressed confidence that the company can grow its revenues regardless of action from Washington.

Simon made the remarks in an interview on “Close bell” Next Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy. In December the Canadian company announced plans to merge in all-stock deal that would create the largest cannabis producer in the world by sales.

“A lot of the unknown is known about what is going to happen in the US, but we will have the record, we will have the knowledge, we will have the brands, we will have the technology to make a huge impact once legalization is done, “said Simon. “I say full legalization in the next two to three years.”

Simon, who will lead the combined company upon conclusion of the deal, added that he “firmly believes that legalization in Germany, Portugal and some other countries can take place before the US”.

Pot supplies have gathered in the hope of national legalization in the US, a move that would have a significant impact on companies in the industry. For example the Boost the Seymour Cannabis ETF is up over 120% since November 9, the first day of trading after most of the media scheduled the presidential election for Democrats Joe Biden.

Earlier this month Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, gave his support behind trying to end the federal marijuana ban. Schumer said in a statement alongside Democratic Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Cory Booker of New Jersey that passing such laws would be a priority this year.

A large number of US states have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. Monday, New Jersey became the newest condition Pot for recreational use to allow if Governor Phil Murphy signed a legislative package. However, current federal law prevents cannabis be imported in the country and also limits the relationship that industry players can have with financial institutions.

Simon expressed his confidence in Aphria’s growth prospects even in the current landscape without federal legalization in America. Recreation area is allowed all over Canada, he noted, and in his latest quarterly resultsAphria’s revenue from adult cannabis increased 149% compared to the same period last year.

Once the combination of Aphria and Tilray is complete, the combined company will have a “strong” medical business in Europe, Simon said. Earlier this month, Tilray inked an important deal with Grow Pharma to import and distribute its medical cannabis products in the UK

In the USA, Simon promoted the takeover of SweetWater Brewing Company, based in Atlanta Completed at the end of November. The company will also be owned by Tilray through Manitoba Harvest upon completion of the merger, Simon said. Manitoba Harvest sells hemp-based foods such as Cereal and milk. “We will look at other acquisitions in the US,” added Simon.

Aphria’s shares, listed on Nasdaq, are up nearly 175% in 2021. Tilray stock is up nearly 211%.

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar would be the firm’s greatest supply of progress in 2021, CEO says

The greatest source of growth for Coke The company’s sugar-free version of the company’s soda of the same name is likely to be available in the next few years.

“In fact, Coke Zero Sugar will be the best growth driver in 21 and likely for the couple of years,” said James Quincey, CEO of Coke, in an interview that aired on CNBC Friday “Close the bell.”

The drink was launched nationwide in 2017 as an updated version of Coke Zero, which was 12 years old at the time. Coke Zero Sugar was designed to be more similar to traditional Coke soda, but still appeal to health-conscious consumers by omitting the sugar. And the product has paid off for the company, fueling sales growth throughout the fiscal year as well Coronavirus pandemic.

“Coke Zero grew through Covid in 2020 and is the biggest growth driver for the company in absolute terms,” ​​Quincey told CNBC’s Sara Eisen.

Quincey pointed out Coke’s Topo Chico Hard Seltzer and AHA Sparkling Water as new products that did well in the early days of their launch.

Other beverage launches like Coke Energy have been challenged by the current crisis. Executives told analysts on Feb.10 that they would double Coke Energy this year after lockdowns impacted its first launch earlier last year.

Coke’s stock is down 16% over the past 12 months, bringing it to a market value of $ 215 billion.

Hershey tracked Covid tendencies after seeing s’mores demand rise as instances grew, CEO says

Hershey sees strong demand for chocolates and seasonal sweets as people are locked in their homes looking for every small occasion to celebrate.

“Throughout the year, time of year was a major driver as consumers really wanted the comfort and normalcy associated with seasonal traditions and rituals at a time when Covid was uprooting their lives,” he said Hershey CEO Michele Buck in an interview with Sara Eisen from CNBC on Thursday “Close the bell.“”

A notable example was a trend Hershey spotted when coronavirus cases increased across the country, demand for s’mores ingredients increased. Families no doubt sought fun by setting up barbecues in their backyards and roasting S’Mores over the fire. Hershey said his chocolate sales were 40% to 50% higher in areas with an increased number of Covid-19 cases than in areas that were lower.

“Over the past year we have found that wherever the number of Covid cases has increased, there has been higher sales of s’mores ingredients. We were then able to use the case number as a harbinger of where we were doing some of that effort should focus and build shows and places media in these markets, “said Buck.

Retailers are also familiar with the trends and stocked up on Valentine’s Day and Easter candy sooner than ever to ensure they have plenty of choice.

Hershey stock closed Thursday less than 1% at $ 147.22 after sales rose 5.7% to $ 2.19 billion in the fourth quarter. Net income increased 41% to $ 291.4 million. Excluding items, Hershey earned $ 1.49 per share, beating analysts’ estimates.

Outspoken Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, who challenged Trump on race points, to retire this yr

Ken Frazier, Chairman and CEO of Merck & Co., speaks during an Economic Club of New York meeting on October 3, 2018.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

The outspoken chairman and CEO of Merck, Ken Frazier, is retiring after almost 30 years with the drug manufacturer, the company announced on Thursday.

The 66-year-old Frazier will be replaced by Chief Financial Officer Robert Davis as CEO on June 30 and will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Management of Merck, “for a transition period to be determined by the Board of Directors,” the company said. Frazier, one of the few black corporate executives in the United States, has been CEO of Merck since January 2011.

“It has been a privilege to serve as CEO of Merck for the past decade and to work with the most dedicated and talented employees and management team in the industry,” Frazier said in the statement. “As CEO, I look forward to working with Rob and our Board of Directors to help Merck be even more successful.”

Frazier’s final years at Merck were marked by his outspoken opposition to the former president Donald Trump. He was the first to lead a revolt among CEOs Resignation of Trump’s American Manufacturing Council shortly after the former president’s supportive comments on white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups at the deadly protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

He has called for managing directors to be a “unifying force” that can help resolve many of America’s racial inequalities by creating new opportunities and jobs. He said that education, and especially financial literacy, is the “great balance”.

Frazier’s June departure will leave only three black CEOs at Fortune 500 companies. Roger Ferguson Jr., CEO of TIAA, announced that he will be stepping down from his position in late March. Roz Brewer, the current Chief Operating Officer of Starbucks, will take the lead at Walgreens Boots Alliance in the same month.

After becoming a lawyer, Frazier rose to be one of the the most famous black CEOs in the country. Before joining Merck, Frazier helped free a black death row inmate who was falsely accused of murder.

Davis, 54, will become President of Merck on April 1. He joined the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company as chief financial officer in 2014 after serving in leadership roles Baxter International. Davis also spent 14 years at Eli Lilly.

Davis, who holds a law degree and an MBA from Northwestern University, serves on the board of directors of Duke Energy and serves on the board of the international nonprofit Healthcare Project Hope.

Davis’ job at Merck has been expanded to include “the company’s global support functions which include corporate development, investor relations, information technology, procurement, real estate and corporate strategy.”

“Rob has been instrumental in helping Merck take the right steps to adapt to the changing healthcare environment, while continuing to invest in the scientific innovations that we expect will drive our future growth,” said Frazier.

Merck reported fourth quarter sales and earnings that fell too short on Thursday Wall Street expectations. Revenue rose 5% year over year to $ 12.5 billion, but fell short of investors’ forecast of $ 12.68 billion. The company reported adjusted earnings per share of $ 1.32 per share versus $ 1.38 expected.

The company’s shares fell around 1% in premarket trading.

Last week Merck announced that it would end the development of two Covid-19 vaccines intended to focus on treatments, citing poorer immune responses compared to people who had recovered from the disease as well as those reported for other vaccines.

The company, which entered the vaccine race later than its competitors, expects initial efficacy data for an experimental oral antiviral, expected in late March.

– Amelia Lucas and Reuters at CNBC contributed to this report.

CEO Sentenced for $150 Million Well being Care Fraud and Cash Laundering Scheme | OPA

The CEO of a Texas-based group of hospice and home health care facilities was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for incorrectly telling thousands of patients with long-term terminal diseases that they had less than six months to live to admit the patients to the hospice Programs they were otherwise not qualified for, thereby increasing revenue for the company.

Henry McInnis, 50, of Harlingen, Texas, was convicted of a federal jury in Brownsville, Texas in November 2019 of one conspiracy each: conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, obstruction of justice, and six counts of healthcare fraud.

McInnis co-conspirator, Rodney Mesquias, 50, who owns the hospice and home health facilities, was also convicted after the November 2019 trial. He was sentenced Two other co-conspirators have pleaded guilty and are awaiting conviction.

“As CEO of the company, McInnis has directly overseen a reprehensible criminal system that included filing fraudulent bills of over $ 150 million, forging patient records and paying unlawful setbacks,” said Acting Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. “McInnis has hunted down some of the most vulnerable members of our society, including many who have suffered from mental impairment and who have been falsely and cruelly told by co-conspirators that they only have months to live. Today’s Significant Sentence shows that the department continues to seek to prosecute individuals at all levels of corporate governance who engage in criminal activities where profits take precedence over patient care. ”

“Families try to give comfort and support to their sick loved ones when all other medical options are gone,” said Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio office. “It is incomprehensible and evil to chase after the most vulnerable in our community to commit fraud against government-funded programs. The FBI is committed to protecting our communities from those who may not have the strength to protect themselves. “

“McInnis and the reprehensible and fraudulent acts of his co-conspirator to defraud Medicare were not without harm: Vulnerable beneficiaries were unnecessarily admitted to hospice care, leaving them unable to access the necessary medical care,” said Miranda L. Bennett, the US special agent Ministry of Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Office (HHS-OIG) in the Dallas area. “With our law enforcement partners, we will continue to investigate those who put illicit profits above the well-being of patients in our healthcare system.”

From 2009 to 2018, McInnis, Mesquias, and others launched a program that resulted in over $ 150 million in false and fraudulent claims for hospice and other health services. McInnis served as the chief executive officer and administrator, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Merida Group, a large healthcare company with dozens of locations across Texas.

McInnis had no medical training and previously worked as an electrician. However, he was the de facto Nursing Director of the Merida Group. Witnesses in court testified that McInnis directed staff to admit unskilled patients to the hospice and home health setting, keep unskilled patients on service for extended periods of time, and fire and reprimand staff who refused to participate in the program .

McInnis also oversaw and enforced a company-wide practice of forging medical records to hide the system. Several witnesses testified that McInnis ordered staff to modify medical records to create the impression that the patients were terminally ill. In reality, some were employed or even participated in sporting events. The jury also heard that McInnis stated that the purpose of the forged records was to enable the Merida Group to audit insurance companies.

As CEO, McInnis also passed a policy that paid for illegal setbacks. They sent bribes to doctors under the guise of medical director fees to certify unskilled patients for hospice and home health. In some cases, they were wrongly offering payouts to marketers in exchange for recruiting patients who could be transferred to extremely expensive hospice services.

HHS-OIG, FBI, and Texas Health and Human Services Commission conducted the investigation. Deputy Chief Jacob Foster and Trial Attorney Kevin Lowell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Department and U.S. Assistant Attorney Andrew Swartz of the Southern District of Texas are pursuing the case.

The fraud department heads the Health Care Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Health Care Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces in 24 districts, has indicted more than 4,200 defendants who billed the Medicare program nearly $ 19 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in partnership with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and reduce the presence of fraudulent providers.