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Three Houston Defendants Plead Guilty in Connection with "Arthritis Kit" Fraud Scheme
Date:3/1/2010

alth care fraud. Idiong pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and to five counts of health care fraud.

The defendants admitted that B.I. Medical billed Medicare for expensive, rigid orthotics and braces that were packaged together and referred to as an "arthritis kit," at a cost of approximately $4,000 per kit, when in fact, they were supplied with different, less expensive products. The defendants also admitted that the equipment supplied was not medically necessary. In one instance, according to the plea agreements, B.I. Medical billed Medicare for an arthritis kit that included two knee braces for a beneficiary who had only one leg. In total, B.I. Medical submitted approximately $846,000 in fraudulent claims to Medicare.

U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore of the Southern District of Texas accepted the defendants' guilty pleas and scheduled sentencing for June 14, 2010. The defendants each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, per count.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Chief John S. (Jay) Darden and Trial Attorneys Jennifer L. Saulino and <
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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