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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 11, 2014

Houston Woman Admits To Defrauding Charity Organization Of More Than $65K

HOUSTON – Simone Nicole Gary, 36, of Houston, has pleaded guilty to mail fraud and Social Security fraud in relation to the submission of fraudulent claims to the American Kidney Fund (AKF), announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

On July 15, 2010, Gary used the name and Social Security number of another person to obtain employment at Fresenius Medical Clinic (FMC) in Houston as a financial coordinator. As part of her duties, Gary assisted clients with their financial needs and verified insurance information.

FMC provides kidney dialysis to patients with kidney failure and is a longtime client of AKF, located in Rockville, Md. AKF awards financial grants to dialysis patients to obtain health care insurance. AKF has an online process which allows a dialysis clinic to submit a grant application on behalf of a patient.

While employed at FMC, Gary submitted fraudulent applications to AKF for grants to patients undergoing dialysis. As a result, AKF mailed grant checks payable to these patients to the attention of Gary at FMC in Houston. Gary took these checks, forged patient signatures and then deposited them into her own bank account.

As a result of the scheme, AKF suffered a loss of $65,768.78.

U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes, who accepted the guilty plea today, has set sentencing for Nov. 10, 2014. At that time, she faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the mail fraud and up to five years for the Social Security fraud. Both convictions also carry as possible punishment a $250,000 fine.

She was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.

The case was investigated by the Secret Service and Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney John Braddock is prosecuting.

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Updated April 30, 2015