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Home News-Telegram News District Court: O'Neal pleads guilty to Medicaid fraud, receives probation

District Court: O'Neal pleads guilty to Medicaid fraud, receives probation

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Long-time Sulphur Springs physician Dr. Don Martin O'Neal last week entered a plea of guilty to charges of Medicaid fraud before Eighth District Judge Eddie Northcutt and was sentenced to serve eight years of deferred adjudication probation and ordered to pay $42,000 in restitution and a $5,000 fine.

The sentence was the result of a plea agreement, which came only days before O'Neal was set to go on trial in Paris.

The embattled physician was to have faced indictments for theft and Medicaid fraud that stemmed from a federal investigation several years ago in which O'Neal's license to write prescriptions was surrendered. Federal agents forwarded their information to the Medicaid Fraud Division of the Texas Attorney General's office.

Additional information gathered by the Attorney General's Office was presented to a Hopkins County Grand Jury in December 2011.

O'Neal had been free on $5,000 bond since his arrest on the indictments.

Earlier this year, District Judge Northcutt granted a request for a change of venue and set the trial to begin last October in Lamar County. After the start of the trial was delayed several times, it was set to begin Monday.

Assistant Attorney General Rob Boyles said that it was “a good thing” to have O'Neal admit his guilt in the cases.

O'Neal is already serving 10-years deferred adjudication probation for misapplication of fiduciary property in a plea agreement reached in November 2011.

In that plea bargain agreement, Dr. O'Neal was also ordered to pay $817,674.84 as restitution. He made that payment in August.

The doctor will serve both probated sentences concurrently.

Heath Hyde of Sulphur Springs and attorneys from the Herschman-Lockey law firm in Dallas represented Dr. O'Neal.




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