Broaddus couple found guilty of health care fraud

BEAUMONT, TX (KTRE) - They were indicted five months ago and now a Broaddus couple has been convicted of health care related fraud in federal court in Beaumont.

According to Davilyn Walston, Public Information Officer U.S. Attorney's Office, Claudette Read and Robert Earl Read, both 44, were found guilty by a jury of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and 20 counts of mail fraud Friday following a 3-week trial before U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

According to information presented in court, the Reads owned and operated C.R.R. ENTERPRISE, d.b.a. as Priority One EMS, an ambulance transport business with its main office in Jasper, Texas.  From 2004 to November 2007, the Reads defrauded Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield by obtaining money from these programs by making false representations about the patients they transported.  An investigation into these crimes revealed that the fraudulent amount paid to Priority One from Medicare totaled $1,414.877.33, the amount paid to Priority One by Medicaid was $265,454.52, and the amount paid by Blue Cross and Blue Shield to Priority One was $68,088.83.  The Reads were indicted by a federal grand jury in Beaumont on Mar. 18, 2009.

The Reads each face up to 20 years in federal prison at sentencing.  A sentencing date has not been set.

This case was investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services - OIG and the Texas Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Simpson and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Kummerfeld.