47-year-old Nigerian, Ayodeji Fatunmbi has been sentenced to 46 months in prison by a United States court for defrauding the US government over $8million Medicare charges.
This was revealed in a statement from the US Department of Justice.
According to the statement, Fatunmbi was sentenced for his role in a Durable Medical Equipment (DME) scheme in which the money was fraudulently billed for DME that was not medically necessary.
In her ruling, US District Judge Christina Snyder of the Central District of California sentenced Fatunmbi and ordered him to pay $1,076,893.15 in restitution.
Fatunmbi had on May 8 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering after he was charged along with 47-year-old Olufunke Fadojutimi of Carson, California, and 44-year-old Maritza Velasquez of Las Vegas, Nevada.
The defendant who entered a guilty plea admitted that he and the others paid cash kickbacks to patient recruiters and physicians for fraudulent prescriptions for DME such as power wheelchairs, which the Medicare beneficiaries did not have a legitimate medical need.
This act made Lutemi Medical Supply (Lutemi), a DME supply company that he co-ran, to submit approximately $8.3 million in claims to Medicare, which resulted in the company being paid over $3.5 million.
“Fatunmbi further admitted that he was responsible for $2,090,434 in false and fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary DME and that as a result of his conduct, Medicare paid Lutemi a total of $1,076,893.
“In furtherance of this scheme, Fatunmbi and a co-conspirator wrote cheques from Lutemi’s bank account to Lutemi employees and others, and Fatunmbi instructed that those monies be returned to him to pay the illegal cash kickbacks to the patient recruiters and doctors, he admitted.
“Fatummbi admittedly directed others at Lutemi to engage in these transactions to conceal the nature and source of the proceeds of the health care fraud conspiracy,” the statement said.
Velasquez also pleaded guilty on July 24, 2013, to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and got 15 months prison sentence and restitution in the amount of $3,411,428.
According to the US Department of Justice, Fadojutimi was found guilty after a jury trial on July 31, 2014, of one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, seven counts of healthcare fraud, and one count of money laundering, and was sentenced to four years in prison and restitution in the amount of $4,372,466.
This case was investigated by the HHS-OIG, the FBI and IRS-CI while trial attorneys Claire Yan, Emily Culbertson and Justin Givens of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section were prosecuting it.
“The Asset Forfeiture Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California is handling the asset forfeiture aspects of the case,” the statement added.