Owner of DTS Medical Supply Company in Devine and Two Employees Charged in Connection with $3.5 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 05, 2013|
A federal grand jury has indicted 52–year-old DTS Medical Supply Company owner Daniel Thomason Smith and two employees in connection with an estimated $3.5 million health care fraud scheme, announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, FBI Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
A 21-count indictment returned yesterday in San Antonio charges Smith; 42-year-old DTS office manager Kathleen Marina Kelly-Tuorila of Devine, Texas; and 57–year-old Robin Renee Haigler of Waco, Texas, with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of aiding and abetting health care fraud, 11 counts of aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft, and eight counts of aiding and abetting false statements related to a health care matter.
According to the indictment, both Medicare and Medicaid provide qualified beneficiaries with financial remuneration for the purchase of prescribed and necessary medical equipment. Such medical equipment would include powered wheelchairs, powered scooters, and accessories related to those two devices. Medicare and Medicaid set a rate of compensation for each of these devices, and the rate of compensation differed between devices and was to be based on the type of device that was prescribed for the beneficiary and delivered to the beneficiary.
The indictment alleges that between May 2006 and January 2010, the defendants conspired to submit numerous false and fraudulent benefit claims to Medicaid and Medicare seeking compensation for powered wheelchairs. Smith employed Haigler on a commission basis to recruit customers primarily in the Waco area. At Smith’s direction, Haigler filled out benefit claims for customers that contained false information, including fraudulent prescriptions which she oftentimes generated, and then forwarded those claims to Kelly-Tuorila for submission to Medicaid and Medicare for reimbursement. Haigler would then arrange to deliver a power scooter, an item that has a lower Medicaid/Medicare reimbursable rate, to customers instead of the powered wheelchair that Medicaid and Medicare were billed for. This resulted in a larger payment from Medicaid/Medicare and a larger percentage of profit for DTS and Smith.
Upon conviction, the defendants face up to 10 years’ imprisonment on the conspiracy count; up to 10 years’ imprisonment on the aiding and abetting health care fraud count; up to two years in federal prison for each aggravated identity theft count; and up to five years in federal prison for each false statement count.
This indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by the agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with investigators from the Texas Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Greg Surovic is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.