Houston Woman Sentenced for Defrauding Charity Organization of More Than $65K
HOUSTON, January 17, 2015 - Simone Nicole Gary, 36, of Houston, has been ordered to federal prison following her convictions of mail and Social Security fraud in relation to the submission of fraudulent claims to the American Kidney Fund (AKF), announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. She pleaded guilty Aug. 11, 2014.
Today, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes, who accepted the guilty plea, upwardly departed and handed Gary a sentence of 69 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, Judge Hughes questioned Gary extensively about her criminal history and stated that the defendant had been involved in a widespread spree of stealing other people’s money. The court has also entered an order imposing restitution in the amount of $79,201.89.
On July 15, 2010, Gary used the name and Social Security number of another person to obtain employment at Fresenius Medical Clinic (FMC) in Houston as a financial coordinator. As part of her duties, Gary assisted clients with their financial needs and verified insurance information.
FMC provides kidney dialysis to patients with kidney failure and is a longtime client of AKF, located in Rockville, Md. AKF awards financial grants to dialysis patients to obtain health care insurance. AKF has an online process which allows a dialysis clinic to submit a grant application on behalf of a patient.
While employed at FMC, Gary submitted fraudulent applications to AKF for grants to patients undergoing dialysis. As a result, AKF mailed grant checks payable to these patients to the attention of Gary at FMC in Houston. Gary took these checks, forged patient signatures and then deposited them into her own bank account.
As a result of the scheme, AKF suffered a loss of $65,768.78.
Previously released on bond, Gary was permitted to remain on bond but ordered to voluntarily surrender either to a designated U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility or to the U.S. Marshals Service on Feb. 3, 2015.
The case was investigated by the Secret Service and Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Braddock is prosecuting.