Clinic owner at center of multi-million dollar fraud scheme in Houston area sent to prison

FILE Photo - piles of dollars in a briefcase to illustrate fraud scheme. (WDIV)

HOUSTON – A judge sentenced a Houston-area mental health clinic owner to prison after prosecutors say she was the ringleader of medical fraud for decades, resulting in millions of dollars.

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According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, Gwendolyn Gibbs, 72, was the owner of Daybreak Rehabilitation Center. That’s where Gibbs reportedly submitted fake claims for hospitalization services to Medicare from 2007 until 2016.

Court records claim many of the patients, including those who were treated for severe mental illness or had intellectual disabilities, were impacted by this scheme. For example, Gibbs admitted “to falsifying medical records to make it appear that patients were sicker than they actually were.”

Additionally, the 72-year-old bribed group homeowners and patient recruiters to refer Medicare beneficiaries to Daybreak.

“The owners of the group homes required their residents to attend Daybreak and, in exchange, Gibbs and her co-conspirators provided transportation, supervision and meals to the group home residents,” court documents said.

ADDITIONAL STORIES: 2 charged in $10M Medicare fraud, kickback scheme in Houston area: US Attorney

Gibbs pleaded guilty back in December 2021. Her ex-husband and manager at Daybreak, Charles Guidry Jr., 70, was previously sentenced to 70 months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release.

During a court hearing Monday, a judge ordered Gibbs to serve 7 years in prison (84 months) in federal prison, followed also by three years of supervised release. She’s also ordered to pay more than $8 million in restitution to Medicare for what prosecutors said was “her role as leader, the length of the fraud scheme and her long history in the medical field as evidence she knew what she was doing was wrong.”

U.S. Attorney Alamadar Hamdani praised the sentencing, in a press statement saying:

“Gwendolyn Gibbs exploited vulnerable adults with intellectual disabilities and residents of group homes in order to defraud Medicare of millions of dollars,” he said. “Public resources for mental health services should go to the patients that actually need them, not to enrich criminal actors like Gibbs.”

About the Author

Historian, educator, writer, expert on "The Simpsons," amateur photographer, essayist, film & tv reviewer and race/religious identity scholar. Joined KPRC 2 in Spring 2024 but has been featured in various online newspapers and in the Journal of South Texas' Fall 2019 issue.

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