Thursday, May 22, 2008

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Houston Occupational Therapist Pleads Guilty to Medicaid Fraud Charges

HOUSTON – A Houston-area occupational therapist pleaded guilty to defrauding the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Albert C. Albert, 56, of Missouri City, will be sentenced at a later date for felony theft by a governmental contractor. An investigation by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit revealed that Albert billed the government health care programs for services he never rendered.

“This defendant is charged with billing the taxpayers for services he never rendered. Texans will not tolerate illegal schemes that defraud taxpayers,” Attorney General Abbott said. “The Office of the Attorney General will continue aggressively cracking down on fraud in the Medicaid program.” Attorney General Abbott added: “We are grateful to the Harris County District Attorney Ken Magidson for his assistance with this case.”


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Albert C. Albert

According to state investigators, between February 1999 and February 2004, Albert’s occupational therapy clinics, Skillcare Rehabilitation Services and Nelbat Rehabilitation Services, received fraudulent Medicare reimbursements totaling $150,268. His clinics also received almost $20,000 for Medicaid for services that were never rendered.

Albert was indicted for first-degree felony theft last October. Harris County Assistant District Attorney Joni Vollman prosecuted this case.

In 2006 alone, the Texas Medicaid program cost more than $17 billion. As the state’s chief law enforcement official, Attorney General Abbott has dramatically expanded the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to save taxpayer dollars by rooting out Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse.

The unit has established field offices in Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, San Antonio and Tyler through authorization and funding from the 78th Legislature. It works with federal, state and local agencies across the state to identify and prosecute those who defraud the Medicaid program.