Houston woman charged in $10 million PWC scam

Sunday, September 25, 2005

HOUSTON - Federal officials claim an unlicensed Houston doctor cheated Medicare and Medicaid out of nearly $10 million by prescribing power wheelchairs that weren't medically necessary, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Linda Morgan was released on $100,000 bail Sept. 20 after pleading not guilty to one count of conspiracy and 12 counts of health-care fraud, according to an article in the Houston Chronicle.

Investigators accused Morgan, 52, of filling out phony prescriptions for power wheelchairs without seeing the patients. Marketers purchased the prescriptions for $250 and then sold them to HME companies. The suppliers used the prescriptions to bill Medicare for power chairs that cost on average $5,000 but gave patients scooters that cost $800 to $1,200, say prosecutors.

If convicted, Morgan faces up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine on each fraud charge, and five years and a $250,000 on the conspiracy charge.

Morgan's trial is set for Nov. 22.