Friday, December 9, 2011

Owners of Houston Health Care Company Kemmie Houston and Sharon Beal Sentenced to Prison for Medicare Fraud


WASHINGTON – Two owners of a Houston durable medical equipment (DME) company were each sentenced to prison today for their roles in a Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

U.S. District Judge David Hittner in the Southern District of Texas sentenced Kemmie Houston to 63 months in prison and Sharon Beal to 51 months in prison. In addition to their prison terms, Houston and Beal were sentenced to two years of supervised release and were ordered to pay $403,704 in restitution, jointly and severally.

Beal, 48, and Houston, 43, pleaded guilty in June 2011 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

According to court documents, Beal and Houston owned and operated STK Consultants. STK maintained a Medicare provider number to submit Medicare claims for the costs of DME and purported to provide orthotics, power wheelchairs, power wheelchair accessories and other DME to Medicare beneficiaries. According to court documents, Beal and Houston caused STK to submit claims to Medicare for DME that was medically unnecessary and/or not provided, including orthotic devices that were components of “arthritis kits.” The arthritis kit generally contained a number of 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.

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