Psychologist from Rio Rancho Sentenced to Probation for Federal Health Care Fraud Conviction
Defendant Also Ordered to Pay $157,839.94 in Restitution
ALBUQUERQUE – Julee K. Huggins, 61, of Rio Rancho, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to five years of probation for her conviction on healthcare fraud charges. Huggins also was ordered to pay $157,839.94 in restitution to Medicare and two private insurance carriers who were the victims of Huggins’ criminal conduct.
Huggins entered a guilty plea on Nov. 3, 2015, to a felony information charging her with healthcare fraud. At the time she committed the crime, Huggins was a licensed and practicing clinical psychologist who provided mental health counseling out of a practice in Rio Rancho.
In entering her guilty plea, Huggins admitted that between Jan. 2011 and Feb. 2014, she executed a scheme to fraudulently obtain money from three health care benefit programs, Medicare, which provides healthcare benefits to persons over 65 years of age and persons who are disabled, Presbyterian Health Plan and Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico (collectively, the healthcare benefit programs). Huggins admitted perpetuating the scheme by submitting claims to the three healthcare benefit programs for counseling services that were never performed and by overbilling the programs. Huggins defrauded the three healthcare benefit programs of an aggregate of $157,839.94.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Reeve L. Swainston.