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Irving Man Sentenced to 7 Years in COVID-19 Testing Fraud Case

An Irving man, 40-year-old Terrance Barnard, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for his part in a $7 million COVID-19 testing fraud, as announced by U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton.

Barnard pleaded guilty in September 2023 to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. He was indicted in December 2022. U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr handed down the sentence and ordered Barnard to pay over $7 million in restitution.

“These defendants took advantage of unsuspecting patients – and a global pandemic – to steal millions of dollars from insurers using private patient information,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton. “This sort of crime breaches patients’ trust and raises the cost of healthcare for all – at a time when access to medical care feels precarious to many.”

The scheme involved submitting false claims for COVID-19 testing services using stolen personal information from various individuals. Barnard and his accomplices accessed private patient information, including names, dates of birth, and insurance subscriber numbers, from clinics where Barnard worked as a contract lab technician. They used this information to make claims to insurance providers for testing that was never performed. The "labs" named in the claims were actually shell entities that never operated as labs.

“Terrance Barnard and his co-conspirators submitted false claims to multiple healthcare plans, including Employee Retirement Income Security Act covered plans, for COVID-19 testing services using the stolen personal identifiable information of numerous individuals. Today’s sentencing affirms the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General’s commitment to working with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration to protect the integrity of employee benefit plans,” said Casey Howard, Special Agent-in-Charge, Central Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.

The investigation revealed that approximately $30 million in false claims were submitted, resulting in over $7 million in reimbursements for fake testing. As part of his plea agreement, Barnard agreed to forfeit nearly $2.5 million from bank accounts tied to him or his family, as well as real properties, vehicles, and luxury watches.

Connie Jo Clampitt, William Paul Gray, and Don Hogg were also charged in connection with the scheme. Gray received a 54-month prison sentence for conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, while Clampitt and Hogg await sentencing.

The investigation was conducted by various agencies, including the Dallas Regional Office of the United States Department of Labor – Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Central Region of the Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, the Texas Department of Insurance Fraud Unit's Fort Worth Field Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Dallas Field Office.

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