WASHINGTON – Two San Bernardino County, Calif., medical company chief executive officers (CEOs) were charged in a seven-count indictment unsealed today for their alleged roles in a Medicare fraud scheme involving unnecessary durable medical equipment (DME), Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Matthew Friedrich and U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Thomas P. O’Brien announced.
Adekunle Rafiu Shittu a/k/a Cooley, 54, and Kim Jeanette Shittu, 45, were charged in the indictment with billing $3,557,134 to Medicare between September 2005 and October 2008 for medically unnecessary equipment. In total, according to the indictment, the defendants received $2,517,076 from the Medicare Trust Fund for the unnecessary items, which included motorized wheelchairs, wheelchair accessories and hospital beds.
The indictment alleges that Adekunle and Kim Shittu billed Medicare for equipment that was not provided to patients, or for items that they knew patients did not need, through two California corporations: Kimco Medical Supply Inc. (Kimco) and K&K Medical Supply Inc. (K&K). According to the indictment, Kimco operated in San Bernardino, Calif., with Adekunle Shittu as its CEO. K&K operated in Fontana, Calif., with Kim Shittu serving as its CEO. Each defendant faces a maximum of 55 years in prison and mandatory restitution if found guilty on all charged counts.
An indictment is merely an allegation and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The defendants were arrested this morning following an investigation by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force (MFSF). The MFSF is a multi-agency team of federal, state and local prosecutors and agents designed to combat Medicare fraud. Strike force operations began in the Los Angeles area on March 1, 2008. The MFSF is led by Kirk Ogrosky, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section in Washington, D.C., and the office of U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien of the Central District of California. Since the inception of MFSF operations, federal prosecutors have indicted 106 cases with 188 defendants in both Los Angeles and Miami. Collectively, these defendants fraudulently billed the Medicare program for more than half a billion dollars.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Jonathan Baum and Special Trial Attorney Joseph C. Hudzik of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Yvonne L. Garcia of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. The case was investigated by the FBI.