HOUSTON – Two Houston women are facing federal jail time for allegedly committing health care fraud through a speech therapy clinic in Houston.
Rebecca Lee Rabon, 44, and Tiffany Nicole Thompson, 31, have been charged in a 44-count indictment alleging conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with Special Agent in Charge Janice Flores of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) - Southwest Field Office in Arlington.
The sealed indictment, returned January 30, 2014, was unsealed as Rabon made her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy. After the hearing, Judge Stacy permitted Rabon’s release upon posting bond. Thompson later turned herself in to federal authorities and was expected to appear before Judge Stacy on Tuesday.
“As the investigative arm of the Department of Defense - Office of Inspector General, one of the primary missions of the DCIS is the detection of fraud, especially the type that targets critical funding for health care for our warfighters, their families and military retirees,” said Flores. “This investigation demonstrates the commitment of DCIS in rooting out and stopping health care fraud.”
The indictment alleges Rabon, the owner of Rabon Communication Enhancement (RCE) fraudulently billed TRICARE and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas approximately $3,784,642 for speech therapy and swallowing therapy services that were not provided to patients. Of that amount, the indictment alleges approximately $1,285,827.67 was paid on the fraudulent claims. Rabon and Thompson also allegedly submitted fraudulent claims for themselves and three employees of RCE for services that were not provided. Two individuals are identified in the indictment as victims of identity theft.
Rabon and Thompson both face up to 10 years in federal prison for each of the conspiracy to commit health care fraud and 36 substantive health care fraud charges. Rabon, who is also charged with five counts of mail fraud, faces up to 20 years in prison on each of those charges. If convicted of either of the two counts of aggravated identity theft, each also face an additional two-year-term which must be served consecutively to any sentence for the underlying offenses. There is also a possibility of up to a $250,000 fine for conviction of any of the offenses.
DCIS investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting.