Corporate Compliance

Houston patient recruiter sentenced for DME fraud scheme

Compliance Monitor, July 28, 2010

U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. sentenced a Houston-area patient recruiter to 21 months in prison for her role in a $3 million durable medical equipment (DME) fraud scheme, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.

Paula Whitfield, 43, worked for Luant & Odera Inc., a DME company owned  and operated by  Helen Etinfoh. Whitfield provided Luant with Medicare beneficiaries’ information in exchange for kickbacks. Luant then used the information to bill Medicare for replacement wheelchairs lost during hurricanes, but no such damages occurred, according to the DOJ.

Whitfield was ordered to pay a restitution fee of approximately $800,000. Etinfoh faces sentencing on August 13.

Most Popular