Owner of Houston Durable Medical Equipment Health Care Companies Sentenced for $3.4 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
WASHINGTON—A Texas man was sentenced today to 63 months for his role in a $3.4 million scheme to defraud Medicare, announced 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 CJ Porter of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Dallas Region, Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI’s Houston Field Office and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU).
Huey P. Williams Jr., 46, of Katy, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon of the Southern District of Texas. In addition to imposing the sentence, Judge Harmon ordered Williams to pay $1.96 million in restitution. Williams owned and operated Hermann Medical Supplies Inc. and Hermann Medical Supplies II (collectively Hermann Medical), two Houston-area durable medical equipment (DME) companies.
On March 11, 2015, following a three-day trial, a jury convicted Williams of one count of healthcare fraud. According to the evidence presented at trial, from December 2006 through July 2010, Williams owned and operated Hermann Medical Supplies Inc. and Hermann Medical Supplies II (collectively Hermann Medical), two Houston-area durable medical equipment (DME) companies. Through these companies, Williams oversaw a scheme to defraud Medicare by submitting approximately $3.4 million in false and fraudulent DME claims. Specifically, Williams caused Hermann Medical to bill Medicare for components of an “arthritis kit,” which included expensive, rigid braces and orthotics with adjustable joints that required fitting and adjustment, when in reality, Williams never purchased any of the expensive braces and instead purchased and provided to beneficiaries only inexpensive, flimsy neoprene braces and equipment, to the extent he provided any equipment at all. Medicare paid Hermann Medical $1.96 million on these claims.
The FBI, HHS-OIG and Texas MFCU investigated the case. The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas. Trial Attorneys Ashlee C. McFarlane and Jason Knutson of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section prosecuted the case.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged over 2,300 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for over $7 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.