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Owner of Homewood company convicted by feds of taking kickbacks

Sun-Times file photo

The owner of a south suburban telemarketing company has been convicted of taking illegal kickbacks in exchange for referring companies to home health care agencies.

Sundae Williams, 47, was convicted Tuesday after a five-day jury trial of one count of conspiracy to solicit and receive remuneration in return for the referral of Medicare patients, and six counts of soliciting and receiving remuneration in return for referral of Medicare patients, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Williams was the owner of Serenity Marketing Inc., a telemarketing company based in Homewood.

She used unsolicited phone calls to recruit patients, including Medicare beneficiaries, for home health care services, prosecutors said. She then referred those patients to several Chicago-area nursing agencies in exchange for payments on a per-patient basis.

Williams faces up to five years in prison for each count, according to the statement. Her sentencing date has not been set.

She is the latest defendant convicted in a federal investigation by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a joint initiative by the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and has been operating in Chicago since 2011.