Friday, December 7, 2012
HOUSTON Yolanda Nowlin, 41, and Carla Parnell, 49, both of Bryan, have been charged in a seven-count indictment alleging conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, conspiracy to pay kickbacks and theft of government money, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Nowlin was the owner of Yellabone Medical Equipment Inc. in Bryan and Parnell was its office manager.
The sealed indictment was returned Nov. 28, 2012, and unsealed just moments ago upon their arrests. Both are expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge George C. Hanks Jr. this afternoon.
According to the indictment, between July 2003 and December 2009, Nowlin and Parnell engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid. The indictment alleges Nowlin and Parnell submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for durable medical equipment (DME) and incontinence supplies that were not delivered, not wanted and not needed by Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries and were the product of illegal kickbacks. During the alleged conspiracy, Nowlin and Parnell submitted approximately $3,391,771.90 in fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid and received $1,108,316.82 for those claims.
The indictment also alleges Nowlin and Parnell paid kickbacks to a large number of recruiters over the course of the scheme in return for the referral of beneficiaries to Yellabone.
Parnell and Nowlin are further charged with theft of government money. Both women allegedly concealed Parnell’s employment with Yellabone in order to continue receiving Social Security disability benefits to which she was not entitled.
All charges carry a possible sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 fine, upon conviction.
The indictment is the result of a joint investigation conducted by agents from the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Special Assistant United States Attorney Adrienne E. Frazior is prosecuting the case.