New Orleans attorney imprisoned over alleged health care fraud faces possible disbarment

By Karen Kidd | Jan 17, 2019

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Suspended New Orleans attorney Louella P. Givens-Harding faces possible permanent disbarment following a recommendation issued Jan. 14 by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee over her 2017 federal health care fraud conviction.

In its seven-page recommendation, LADB hearing committee No. 8 recommended Louisiana Supreme Court permanently disbar Givens-Harding, 72, and that she pay all costs in the proceedings.

The committee found Givens-Harding violated professional conduct rules regarding commission of a criminal act and knowingly engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation.

The recommendation was signed Jan. 9 by committee chair Terrance A. Prout and was issued five days later. Attorney member Darryl J. Foster and public member Vickie E. Shreves concurred in the recommendation.

Givens-Harding, suspended in February 2018, was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 27, 1990, according to her profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. Givens-Harding has no prior record of discipline in the state, according to the hearing committee's recommendation.

In June 2015, a criminal complaint was filed against Givens-Harding in U.S. District Court for Louisiana's Eastern District on health care fraud charges under the federal anti-kickback statute. In August 2017, Givens-Harding acknowledged the charges in the criminal complaint and pleaded guilty to one count in the indictment against her in exchange for dismissal of three other counts.

In November 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Jay C. Zainey sentenced Givens-Harding to 18 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered her to pay more than $575,000 in restitution to Medicare.

Givens-Harding is being held at the Carswell federal medical center in Fort Worth, Texas, according to an online federal inmate search. Her release date is Feb. 5, 2020.

In February 2018 the office of disciplinary counsel filed formal charges against Givens-Harding. She did not file an answer to the charges, according to the hearing committee's recommendation.

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Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board Louisiana State Bar Association Louisiana Supreme Court U.S. Department of Justice U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

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