State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released a statement after David Byrns, the former CEO of Putnam County Memorial Hospital, agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Charges were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, and further proceedings will be held in the Middle District of Florida. Byrns' fraud came to light after a 2017 audit of Putnam County Memorial Hospital found $90 million in illegal billings were passed through the 15-bed hospital in northern Missouri. It marks the largest fraud exposed in the history of the State Auditor's Office.
"This all began with our audit of a small county-owned hospital. Our work helped expose a nationwide conspiracy that led to these federal criminal charges," Auditor Galloway said. "Health care fraud impacts costs for all Missourians and underscores the importance of holding those responsible accountable. Over the past two years, my office has worked with law enforcement throughout the nation to ensure that those responsible for these crimes are punished."