Corporate Compliance

California DME facility owner sentenced to nine years in prison for Medicare fraud

Compliance Monitor, March 31, 2010

California U.S. District Judge John F. Walter sentenced Los Angeles durable medical equipment (DME) company owner Leonard Nwafor, to nine years in prison for his role in an approximately $1 million fraud scheme, according to a Department of Justice press release.

Nwafor, 44, was sentenced in absentia because he fled the jurisdiction following a 2008 conviction for conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and healthcare fraud. While running Pacific City Group Inc., Nwafor submitted over $1 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare, by employing “marketers” to approach Medicare beneficiaries to relinquish their Medicare numbers for free power wheelchairs, according to the DOJ.

Nwafor forged prescriptions with Los Angeles area physician’s names to support his claims. According to the DOJ, several Medicare beneficiaries testified that Nwafor and his co-conspirators used numerous tactics, including kickbacks and threats of terminating Medicare benefits, to obtain Medicare numbers.

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