Pair of Houston Area Women Indicted in Scam

December 28, 2004

United States Attorney Michael Shelby announced recently the indictment of two Houston area women for health care fraud.

Earlier this month, a federal grand jury returned a 22-count indictment charging Brenda Franklin Harris, 58, and Rosalind Michelle Jones, 38, of Baytown, Texas, and the owners of Health Universal Medical Services, with conspiracy, wire fraud, and health care fraud as a result of a scheme to defraud Medicare of millions of dollars by filing false and fraudulent claims. Harris and Jones were arrested by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Health and Human Services.

The indictment alleges that between January 1999 and July 2001, Harris and Jones acting through their company, Health Universal Medical Services, formerly located at 1900 Garth Road, Baytown, Texas, and now defunct, filed approximately $4 million in false or fraudulent claims resulting in approximately $1.2 million in payments to the company.

Harris and Jones are alleged to have executed their scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid in one of three ways: (1) filing claims for services not performed; (2) filing claims for services where no licensed physician treated the patient; and, (3) filing claims for services by unlicensed, untrained persons not under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.

If convicted of the conspiracy or any one of the 12 wire fraud charges, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of up to five years imprisonment. Each of the nine health care fraud counts carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment upon conviction.

The indictment is the result of a two-year investigation conducted by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Texas Attorney General’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cedric Joubert.

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