A Nigerian man living in Southern California was sentenced to almost four years in Federal prison after pleading guilty to involvement in a scheme to defraud Medicare via sales of durable medical equipment (DME).
Investigators say that he and two other defendants paid cash kickbacks to patient recruiters and physicians for fraudulently prescribing DMEs to Medicare beneficiaries in cases where such instruments were not medically necessary.
With such orders in hand, investigators say the trio’s medical supply company submitted claims to Medicare for the unnecessary equipment, which they say totaled $8.3 million in false claims, with $3.5 million being paid out to the company. Per his guilty plea, the defendant said his portion in the fraud totaled over $2 million in false claims, netting him just over $1 million in proceeds.
Additionally, the defendant admitted to using a co-conspirator’s bank account to others within the conspiracy and to company employees, with him receiving repayment for those charges for use in paying kickbacks. He said this arrangement was done in order to mask the nature and source of the money used for kickbacks.
The defendant pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in May in the chambers of U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder of the Central District of California. Judge Snyder sentenced the defendant to 46 months in Federal prison and ordered him to pay $1,076,893.15 in restitution.
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