Corporate Compliance

Houston patient recruiter convicted of DME fraud scheme

Compliance Monitor, June 1, 2011

Marion Beverly Metoyer, a patient recruiter for a Houston durable medical equipment (DME) company, was convicted of healthcare fraud related to a power wheelchair fraud scheme, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.

Metoyer was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, three counts of healthcare fraud, one count of conspiring to receive illegal kickbacks for referring Medicare beneficiaries, and two counts of receiving illegal kickbacks for referring Medicare beneficiaries. 

According to the DOJ, Metoyer was a recruiter for Luant & Odera Inc., a Houston-area DME company doing business as Tonni Medical Equipment & Supplies. Metoyer received kickbacks in exchange for providing the names of beneficiaries, which were then used to bill Medicare for DME, including power wheelchairs. Luant & Odera also used a code that designated power wheelchairs as replacements for wheelchairs lost during hurricanes that hit the Houston area in fall 2008. However, the hurricanes did not damage the wheelchairs, and beneficiaries testified that they didn’t even have power wheelchairs before receiving those Luant & Odera provided.  

Metoyer faces the following maximum penalties: 10 years in prison for the healthcare fraud conspiracy; 10 years in prison for committing healthcare fraud; five years in prison for conspiring to receive illegal kickbacks for referring Medicare beneficiaries; and five years in prison for receiving an illegal kickback for referring a Medicare beneficiary.

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