Columbia woman pleads guilty to health care fraud

Pine Belt

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – On Tuesday, a Columbia, Mississippi, woman pled guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of health care fraud.

According to court documents, beginning in 2016 and continuing for well over two years, Joy Beth Harden, 51, executed a scheme to defraud Medicare and other health care benefit programs. Prosecutors said she submitted fraudulent bills for durable medical equipment on behalf of her business, BZB LLC doing business as Duracare Home Medical Equipment in the Hattiesburg area. 

As a result, Medicare and other benefits programs paid Harden for durable medical equipment that was never prescribed for patients and for medical equipment that was never delivered to the patients.

Harden will be sentenced on November 23, 2021. She will be facing a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Harden remains in federal custody awaiting sentencing.

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