Speech therapist faces 10 years for $3.7M in bogus claims

A 44-year-old licensed speech therapist faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after admitting she and a colleague submitted $3.7 million in fraudulent insurance claims for services either unnecessary or not provided at all. It serves as another stark reminder that providers need to know how their contractors are conducting business.

Rebecca Lee Rabon, 44, of Houston, pled guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to five counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud after receiving nearly $1.3 million in actual payments from Tricare and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. The case stemmed from a lengthy investigation by agents from the Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service with assistance of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas' Special Investigations Department.

Rabon, who owns and operates Rabon Communication Enhancement, a speech therapy clinic for children, told prosecutors she worked with Tiffany Nicole Thompson, 31, to submit the bogus claims. Over $900,000 of those claims were for herself, Thompson and three unsuspecting RCE employees. Rabon also admitted that she and Thompson forged one bogus claim letter with a false address to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas to keep one of the unsuspecting employees from discovering it.

Rabon also reportedly admitted to not possessing equipment or supplies for treating dysphagia, a swallowing disorder, over a period of more than four years.

Rabon's sentencing is set for June 19. Thompson, who pled guilty to conspiracy and heathcare fraud, is due for sentencing April 17.