The former top executive at Horizons Hospice was set to plead guilty today to ripping off government insurance by sending patients to her facility who weren't dying, but the plea has been postponed.
Mary Ann Stewart, 48, of Louisiana, had been set for trial March 14 but indicated this week she would plead today before U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry.
On Thursday, however, she asked for a continuance and the judge granted it.
Her lawyer has declined comment on the case, as has the U.S. attorney's office.
Ms. Stewart, the former chief operating officer at Horizons, was indicted in February 2015 on charges related to a scheme in which she had her employees recruit patients to stay at the Horizons location in Monroeville who weren't terminal so she could bill Medicare and Medicaid.
The fraud is in the millions, according to the prosecution.
The government had some 17 witnesses lined up against Ms. Stewart, including the former chief medical officer at Horizons, Oliver Herndon, who pleaded guilty in July to certifying patients for hospice care who were not terminal.
Herndon is also serving 11 years in federal prison for prescribing thousands of narcotic painkillers as one of the region's largest pill mill doctors. Herndon's lawyer won't comment, but he is hoping for a reduced sentence when the Stewart case is over.