|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON|
|TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2009||PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER|
|HTTP://WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe||DIRECT: (409) 839-2538 CELL: (409) 553-9881|
FORMER BEAUMONT OB/GYN GUILTY OF HEALTH CARE FRAUD
BEAUMONT, TX – U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a 46-year-old doctor who formerly practiced in Beaumont, has pleaded guilty to health care fraud in the Eastern District of Texas.
DARRYL CLARENCE HARRIS, of Los Angeles, CA, pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with Health Care Fraud today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Earl Hines.
According to information presented in court, Harris, an obstetrician/gynecologist, formerly practiced in Beaumont, Texas, was enrolled as a Texas Medicaid Provider. As part of his practice, Harris commonly submitted claims for ultrasounds and microbial identification tests, but as Harris was aware, his office was not capable of performing the tests. At the end of February 2005, two physicians practicing with Harris left the practice and took the ultrasound and microbial testing equipment with them. From March 2005 until August 2005, Harris did not have access to ultrasound equipment, and from March 2005 until November 2005, he did not have access to microbial testing equipment. However during these times, Harris continued to bill Medicaid for both tests and submitted claims for hundreds of unperformed tests resulting in the fraudulent payment of $76,683 from the Texas Medicaid program.
Harris faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.
This case is being investigated by the Texas Attorney General's Office, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Tortorice.
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