Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kemmie Houston and Sharon Beal Plead Guilty to Medicare Fraud


WASHINGTON – Two owners of a Houston health care company pleaded guilty for their roles in a scheme to defraud Medicare of more than $800,000, announced the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS).

Kemmie Houston, 43, pleaded guilty today and Sharon Beal, 47, pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Houston. Houston and Beal both pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge David Hittner to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In their pleas, Beal and Houston admitted that they defrauded Medicare of $851,212.

According to court documents, Beal and Houston owned and operated STK Consultants. STK maintained a Medicare provider number in order to submit Medicare claims for the costs of durable medical equipment (DME) and purported to provide orthotics, power wheelchairs, power wheelchair accessories and other DME to Medicare beneficiaries. According to court documents, STK submitted claims to Medicare for DME that was medically unnecessary and/or not provided. Many of the orthotic devices were components of what was referred to as an “arthritis kit,” and were purported to be for the treatment of arthritis-related conditions; in fact, however, they were not medically necessary or appropriate for such conditions. The arthritis kit generally contained a number of orthotic devices including braces for both sides of the body and related accessories such as heat pads. In total, from August 2005 through August 2010, STK submitted approximately $851,212 in fraudulent claims to Medicare.

Beal is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 14, 2011, and Houston is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 15, 2011. Beal and Houston each face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Report Medicare & Medicaid Fraud by Calling 1-888-482-6825 or by visiting