Medicare Fraud Carries Serious Sentence

Christopher Iruke was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for helping engineer a $14.2 million Medicare fraud.

Iruke was convicted in August — along with his wife, and one of their employees — of conspiracy and health care fraud.

Iruke also has to pay back $6.7 million with his conspirators and serve three years of “supervised release” once he gets out of prison.

He and his wife were charged in October 2009 with bilking Medicare by fraudulently billing the government for electric wheelchairs and other expensive medical equipment.

At last year’s trial, jurors heard evidence that Iruke bought fraudulent prescriptions and documents that the three used to bill Medicare for equipment that were either “medically unnecessary or never provided,” the Justice Department said. For instance, they billed Medicare about $6,000 for a power wheelchair that actually costs closer to $900.

During the trial, witnesses said that “they and others paid cash kickbacks to street-level marketers to offer Medicare beneficiaries free (devices and equipment) in return for the beneficiaries’ Medicare card numbers and personal information.” This data was used to make fraudulent prescriptions and medical documents, which they then sold to Iruke and others.

In total, the federal government said that the conspirators submitted $14.2 million in fraudulent Medicare claims and got about $6.7 million in reimbursements.

If you are facing federal criminal charges, you need an attorney with experience in handling federal cases.  If you have been charged with healthcare fraud, or other federal crimes, or white-collar crimes in Louisiana contact Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Attorney Carl Barkemeyer.

Source: www.cnn.com, “L.A. pastor gets 15 years in a $14.2 million Medicare fraud scheme,” January 9, 2012.