Sept. 4, 2009
FORMER VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION PROVIDER SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR FRAUDULENT CLAIMS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT
(HOUSTON) - James Earl Dunn Jr., 39, former owner and operator of Rehab Specialist Inc. (RSI), has been sentenced to 33 months confinement in federal prison by United States District Judge Lee Rosenthal for submitting more than $300,000 in fraudulent claims against the government, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. The sentence was handed down late yesterday evening.
Dunn received contracts from the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), formerly known as the Texas Rehabilitation Commission, from funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, to provide vocational rehabilitation training to individuals with mental and physical disabilities.
Indicted in May 2007, Dunn pleaded guilty Aug. 12, 2008, to one count of submitting fraudulent claims against the government acknowledging in his plea agreement that during the years 2001 to 2003 he had fraudulently obtained federal vocational rehabilitation funds through DARS by claiming that he was providing employment training and coaching to clients with disabilities when, in fact, the clients were not receiving such training.
"Dunn knowingly and willfully abused his position of trust to steal funds that were supposed to be used to provide needed education and vocational rehabilitation to disabled adults. That is unacceptable,” said Mary Mitchelson, acting Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education. “I’m proud of the work of Office of Inspector General Special Agents, the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and the U.S. Attorney's Office for holding this man accountable for his fraudulent actions.”
Dunn, who has been on bond, has been permitted to remain on bond pending the issuance by the court of an order to surrender to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.
The investigation was conducted by special agents with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General and the DARS Investigations Unit. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Quincy L. Ollison.
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