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Houston-Area Durable Medical Equipment Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud Scheme Involving Nutrition Supplies
Date:5/20/2010

WASHINGTON, May 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The owner and operator of a Houston-area durable medical equipment (DME) company today pleaded guilty to defrauding the Medicare program, announced the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS).

William M. Reece Jr., 54, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud before U.S. District Judge David Hittner in U.S. District Court in Houston.  In his plea, Reece admitted that he owned and operated a DME company called Bright Star Medical Equipment Health Services, and that he billed Medicare for equipment and supplies that were medically unnecessary and were never actually provided to Medicare beneficiaries.  Sentencing has been scheduled for Aug. 17, 2010.

Reece admitted that beginning in 2005 and continuing through 2009, he conspired with others to submit approximately $600,000 in fraudulent claims to Medicare.  Specifically, Reece admitted that he billed Medicare for enteral nutrition products, a type of DME that, according to Medicare regulations, was to be used only for patients who had feeding tubes inserted or surgically implanted in their noses, mouths or stomachs.  According to court documents, the beneficiaries for whom Reece submitted the claims did not, in fact, receive enteral nutrition through a feeding tube.  Reece also admitted that he delivered only a fraction of these products for which he billed Medicare. 

In his plea, Reece admitted that in 2005, he agreed to pay kickbacks to a patient recruiter in exchange for the referral of Medicare beneficiaries for whom he supplied DME.  Reece admitted that he then billed Medicare for the DME.  He also ad
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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