Former Owners of Medical Equipment Company Sentenced to Prison for Defrauding Medicare in Wheelchair Scam
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 11, 2009|
HOUSTON—The former owners of several Houston area durable medical equipment (DME) companies have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a scheme to defraud Medicare in connection with motorized wheelchairs, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.
At a hearing this morning, U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. sentenced Amudat Williams, 54, and his spouse and co-defendant Sunday Adebisi to 44 months each in federal prison without parole and ordered them to jointly to pay $2,190,772 in restitution to Medicare. Williams and Adebisi, both of Houston, were convicted after pleading guilty on Dec. 18, 2008, to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and receiving kickbacks. During today’s proceedings, Judge Werlein further ordered that neither Williams nor Adebisi were to have any involvement with the operation of a business that submits claims to the Medicare program.
Williams and Adebisi were originally charged in an 13-count indictment with executing a well organized scheme to defraud the Medicare program by operating several DME companies and billing Medicare for providing motorized wheelchairs when less expensive equipment known as scooters were actually provided. Alpha Medical and Safety Supply Inc., a medical supply company operated by Williams, falsely billed Medicare more than $2 million and was paid $1.1 million. Adebisi operated a medical supply company called Da-Fem Medical Supply Inc., falsely billed Medicare more than $1.9 million and was paid $1 million. In addition, Williams and Adebisi owned and operated a medical clinic named Dominion Treatment and Rehab Center. Beginning in September 2002 and continuing through August 2003, recruiters and other owners of DME companies transported Medicare beneficiaries to Dominion for the sole purpose of being examined by a physician to qualify the beneficiaries to receive motorized wheelchairs and accessories. Medical forms signed by a physician authorizing beneficiaries to receive motorized wheelchairs were then sold by Williams and Adebisi for approximately $200 to owners of DME companies. These companies would, in turn, use these forms to fraudulently bill Medicare.
Both Williams and Adebisi have been permitted to remain on bond pending the issuance of an order to surrender to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.
This case was jointly investigated by the FBI and the United States Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Samuel J. Louis and Vernon Lewis.