Kalispell Woman Pleads Guilty in Billing Fraud

By Beacon Staff

A 44-year-old Kalispell woman who had a medical billing business has pleaded guilty to mail fraud and filing false income tax returns for taking insurance money that should have gone to her clients.

Kathleen A. Hunnewell pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Missoula.

Prosecutors say Hunnewell, through Physician’s Billing Service, billed insurance companies and patients for medical services on behalf of area medical providers, collected reimbursement and remitted payment to the clients.

Court records say Hunnewell took money from her clients by entering false information about insurance company “adjustments” to payouts or not reporting payments received.

Investigators reviewed Hunnewell’s bank records and federal tax returns for 2001, 2002 and 2003. Prosecutors said she failed to claim just over $60,400 in income for the 2003 tax year.

Sentencing is set for March 26.