Moultrie Observer

Local News

June 28, 2012

Former Archbold CEO sentenced to 2 years in prison

ALBANY, Ga. — Ken Beverly chose not to address the court before being sentenced Thursday in Albany U.S. District Court.

Judge Louis Sands told Beverly, former Archbold Medical Center president and chief executive officer, it is clear the defendant had a distinguished career — “in some ways unparalleled.”

Sands said he had taken into consideration contents of 60 to 70 letters in support of Beverly, but he could not ignore evidence in the case in which the defendant was found guilty in December 2010 of six felony counts in connection with Medicare fraud.

Beverly was sentenced to serve 24 months on each count, with the prison terms to be served concurrently, for a total 24 months. He also was fined $50,000, which is to be paid immediately, and a $600 assessment fee.

Beverly, 66, will be allowed to surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

“The Bureau of Prisons will notify him of the date to report,” said Sue McKinney, public information officer for the U.S. attorney’s office in Macon.

The prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.

The Albany courtroom was filled with Beverly family members and supporters.

Jack Martin, Beverly’s attorney, asked that his client be incarcerated at federal prisons at Eglin Air Base at Fort Walton Beach, Fla., or at Maxwell Air Force Base at Montgomery, Ala.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Crane said the ill-gotten Medicare amount is $13.9 million.

The case might be the largest fraud case in the U.S. Middle District of Georgia and possibly in the state, Crane told the judge prior to sentencing.

Dr. Paul Newell, a Cartersville resident, retired family physician and teacher of family medicine, testified he has known Beverly since 1991.

Newell described Beverly as highly skilled and a fierce advocate for the “underserved.” He was a supporter and advocate for establishment of the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition, the physician testified.

“ ... I know he still has much to give to his community,” Newell said.

Julia Singletary told the court she worked with Beverly while employed in Archbold marketing and in physician recruitment and has known the defendant for more than 25 years.

Singletary, a Thomasville resident, said the essence of Beverly’s work at Archbold was that no matter where one lived or their financial status, they deserved good health care and an education.

“He worked for the patients, not for his own reward,” Singletary said.

Singletary asked Sands for leniency in Beverly’s sentence.

William Dickey, a retired Archbold vice president, worked with Beverly more than 25 years. Dickey, a Thomasville resident, said he and Beverly watched their children grow up together.

Dickey testified that he was aware of negative comments made about Beverly’s management style, but he never questioned his motives or reasoning.

Dickey said he knew from experience about Beverly’s compassion.

“Your honor, I hope you will take all of this into consideration as you ponder this sentence today,” Dickey said to Sands.

Sandra Michaels, also a Beverly lawyer, told the judge Beverly is active in community organizations and on his family farm.

She described “extremely moving” letters from Beverly family members — writings that pointed out stress on the family.

Holding up copies of the Times-Enterprise, which she described as a community newspaper, Michaels pointed out the size above a headline on a story about the Beverly case.

“This has worn out the community,” she said. “They are worn out from the subject matter.”

“... It will never be the same for him or his family,” Michaels told the court.

Beverly might be sentenced to prison, she said, but he has been living in a prison since the case began.

Even detractors at the Beverly trial said the defendant worked for the good of the hospital, that he had no ill will, malice or intent to harm anyone, Michaels said.

She told Sands that sending Beverly to prison would not send a message that has not a already been received and asked for probation or community service as punishment.

“Use Mr. Beverly’s talents to supplement the community,” she told the judge.

Noting Beverly’s various good works, prosecutor Crane said such acts are not relevant in the case.

The government does not present reverse character witnesses, Crane said. He recalled three trial witnesses who said they did not consider Beverly honest or trustworthy.

Crane said Beverly’s actions were deliberate, calculated and continued for a long period of time and that he obstructed justice and tampered with witnesses.

“It was pervasive, and it was continuing,” he told the judge.

For every letter of support for the defendant, Crane said, the government could produce an equal number of letters to the contrary.

“For every positive witness, there is a negative witness,” Crane said.

Pointing out the size of the Medicare fraud in the Beverly case, Crane said, “Then there are the consequences of the train wreck he created.”

 

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