Houston-Area Owner of Medical Equipment Companies Convicted in a $3.4 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
A federal jury in Houston yesterday convicted the owner of two Texas medical equipment companies for his role in a $3.4 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Mike Fields of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services-Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Dallas Regional Office, Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI’s Houston Field Office and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit made the announcement.
Huey P. Williams Jr., 45, who owned and operated Hermann Medical Supply of Katy, Texas, and Hermann Medical Supplies II of Houston, was convicted of one count of health care fraud, as charged in a Jan. 15, 2014, indictment. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date, and will take place before U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon of the Southern District of Texas.
According to the evidence submitted at trial, Williams submitted claims to Medicare through his two companies for durable medical equipment, including orthotic devices, which were medically unnecessary or never provided to the patients. Many of the orthotic devices were components of an “arthritis kit,” and were purported to be for the treatment of arthritis-related conditions. The evidence demonstrated that, from December 2006 through July 2010, Williams submitted approximately $3.4 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare, and Medicare paid approximately $1.9 million on those claims.
The case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Texas Attorney General’s Office, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Ashlee Caligone McFarlane and Jason Knutson of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,100 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $6.5 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.