Woman sentenced for $11M fraud scheme
LAS VEGAS – A Nevada woman who defrauded Medicare of $11.1 million in an HME billing scheme was sentenced to more than four years in prison, according to a press release. Her sentence also includes three years of supervised release, and criminal forfeiture of $11.1 million in assets. Alegria Phankonsy, 43, formerly of Orange County, Calif., pleaded guilty in November 2012 to one count of healthcare fraud and one count of tax evasion. Between March 2005 and Feb. 2011, Phankonsy operated several HME companies in Las Vegas, using multiple aliases. During that time, she fraudulent billed Medicare for medical equipment, including leg prostheses and power wheelchairs, which had not been ordered by a physician, were not needed by clients or were not provided to clients at all. To identify clients, Phankonsy enlisted marketers in southern California to obtain Medicare information from individuals, which was then used to bill Medicare for the unnecessary items. In addition, Phankonsy, by underreporting $7.8 million in gross receipts, bilked the government out of approximately $2.4 million, according to the release.