PWC fraud wrap-up
Swapped wheelchairs for scooters
Special agents of the FBI in March arrested the owners of two HME companies in Houston for allegedly billing Medicare for expensive power wheelchairs and delivering less expensive scooters. Other charges: receiving illegal kickbacks and money laundering. Sandra Patino, Anthony Thurman and Katrice Oliver, who owned or operated Thurman Family Medical Supply and Seniors Comfort & Care Medical Supply, billed Medicare almost $4 million for power wheelchairs from the summer of 2002 to January 2003. They face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Used mass marketing
An Easton, Texas, man was sentenced in March to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $828,000 in restitution for his involvement in a wheelchair scheme using mass marketing. Artis Anderson, 66, allegedly helped HME providers in Houston to submit fraudulent claims for power wheelchairs and scooters. He also submitted fraudulent claims at his own business in Gregg County.
Targeted nursing homes
A U.S. District Court judge sentenced the owner of an HME company in Kansas City earlier this year to five years and three months in prison without parole for his part in a wheelchair scam. The scam involved two doctors visiting nursing homes to recruit people who didn't need power wheelchairs. The doctors gave Kennedy Igbokwe and two other providers fake certificates to bill the government.