FROM: JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Owner of Houston Medical Equipment Companies Indicted for $3.4 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
Huey P. Williams Jr., the owner and operator of two durable medical equipment (DME) companies, was arrested for his alleged role in a $3.4 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Stephen L. Morris of the FBI’s Houston Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Mike Fields of the Dallas Regional Office of HHS’s Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) made the announcement.
The indictment charges Williams, 44, of Katy, Texas, with one count of health care fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison upon conviction. Williams is expected to make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston.
According to the indictment, Williams orchestrated and executed a scheme to defraud Medicare beginning in 2006 and continuing until July 2010. Williams allegedly submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare through his Houston-area DME companies – Hermann Medical Supplies Inc. and Hermann Medical Supplies II (Hermann Medical) – which purported to provide orthotics and other DME to Medicare beneficiaries.
Hermann Medical allegedly submitted claims to Medicare for DME, including orthotic devices, which were medically unnecessary and/or never provided. Many of the orthotic devices were components of an arthritis kit and were purported to be for the treatment of arthritis-related conditions. From December 2006 through July 2010, Williams submitted claims of approximately $3.4 million to Medicare.
An indictment is merely a formal accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG and MFCU and 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 for the Southern District of Texas. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Ashlee Caligone McFarlane of the Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,700 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5.5 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.