Former Alabama Organ Center Executive Sentenced for Fraud

The former director of the Alabama Organ Center was sentenced to 13 months in prison for his role in a scheme to take kickbacks from a funeral home that did business with the organ center.  U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor sentenced Demosthenes Lalisan, 45, to the prison sentence and also ordered him to pay $489,551 in restitution to the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation and to forfeit $242,344 to the federal government as proceeds of illegal activity.

The judge then ordered Lalisan to remain on supervised release for three years after his sentence in prison is completed.  If, when Lalisan is released, he seeks employment in any occupation involving the rendering of health services, he must inform the prospective employer of his conviction and provide a copy of his plea agreement.

Richard Alan Hicks, 40, was Lalisan’s co-defendant, and both men pleaded guilty last November to one count each of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, and mail fraud.  Hicks is the former associate director of the Organ Center and he will be sentenced on June 5.

From around March 2007 until June 2011, Lalisan solicited and received kickbacks totaling $242,344 and Hicks received kickbacks totaling $256,207 from a local funeral home, according to court records.  Both Lalisan and Hicks promoted the funeral home and recommended its hiring by the organ center for services paid for by the Health Services Foundation in exchange for the kickbacks.  They did not disclose to the organ center or the foundation that they were receiving payments from the funeral home.

The investigation revealed no evidence that proved the defendants’ conduct endangered the public or donors or recipients of organs or tissue.

The FBI investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth A. Holt prosecuted the case.

 

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