The owner of a San Diego medical supply store pleaded guilty for her role in a scheme that defrauded the Medicare trust fund of over $300,000.
Oddeth Afara was the owner of Trinity Heart Medical Supply, which sold medical equipment like wheelchairs and hospital beds. She pled guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. She admitted she received more than $320,000 by Medicare after she submitted fraudulent claims.
The plea agreement showed she purchased power wheelchair prescriptions for people who were covered by Medicare B. She knew the patients who received the wheelchairs did not actually need them and could walk on their own. The prescriptions were completely fraudulent. Twelve doctors testified that the prescriptions had forged signatures and incorrect diagnoses for unnecessary wheelchairs.
She used the fraudulent prescriptions to submit false claims to Medicare asking for reimbursement. In all, she submitted claims for over 80 Medicare beneficiaries who did not need the equipment. The Medicare fraud scheme lasted over a year, starting in April 2008 until June 2009.
The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced in September 2012. She is facing a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and a restitution order to repay the funds she received in the scheme.
Federal prosecutors aggressively pursue convictions for those charged with Medicare fraud. This type of federal crime indictment includes over billing, or billing for services not provided. It also includes billing for medical services or devices that were never needed.
In addition to large fines for Medicare fraud, prosecutors will pursue a prison sentence for punishment for violations. Normally, clinics and doctors are the most commonly charged in Medicare fraud cases. There are many ways where these charges can be initiated. When an investigation has been started or you have already been arrested, you will need a knowledgeable federal crime lawyer who is experienced in Medicare fraud cases. You should contact a Los Angeles federal crime attorney from the law office of Cron, Israels & Stark, who will review the details of you case to determine the best course of action.
It is possible that there were innocent errors in billing, which were not an intentional deception of the Medicare system. This could include errors in clerical work or faulty billing supervision. There have been cases where the errors were in the government processing. An attorney who has experience dealing with the different factors involved in a Medicare fraud criminal case are critical to presenting a strong legal defense.
Prosecutors have to prove that your case was a deliberate intention to deceive the government. Our skilled lawyers know from decades of practice how they will attempt to build their case. We have been successful in obtaining a positive outcome for many of our clients. We offer a free consultation to discuss the details of your case by calling our office at 888-895-3607.