Corporate Compliance

Owner found guilty of DME fraud in Southern Texas

Compliance Monitor, October 24, 2007

The government has been zeroing in on durable medical equipment (DME) fraud, finding and prosecuting those who conspire to use their businesses to submit false claims for equipment such as wheelchairs, nebulizers, and prosthetics. These equipment owners often use beneficiaries in their schemes, and end up taking money from the government.

The owner of PMS Medical Equipment Distributors, Edem James Etuk, was found guilty of defrauding Medicare. He will pay $1,627,053 in restitution to Medicare, and will cooperate with the government in their continuing investigations into Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

Etuk's scheme allegedly involved billing Medicare more than $3 million in false claims for motorized wheelchairs that either weren't required by the beneficiary, or were never delivered. He also allegedly bought false certificates of medical necessity from doctors, and he paid Houston marketers to recruit beneficiaries.

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