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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Los Angeles Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Submitting Nearly $1 Million in False and Fraudulent Claims to Medicare

The owner and operator of a Los Angeles durable medical equipment (DME) company pleaded guilty today to submitting nearly $1 million in false claims to Medicare, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney George S. Cardona for the Central District of California.

Ajibola Adekeunle Sadiqr, 51, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter in the Central District of California. Sadiqr, the owner of Cooper Medical Supply, admitted that between January 2006 and September 2009, he conspired with Leonard Nwafor, the owner of another DME supply company who was convicted of Medicare fraud in September 2008, and others to purchase fraudulent prescriptions and medical documents. Sadiqr then used those documents to submit false claims to Medicare for expensive power wheelchairs and DME. Sadiqr admitted that he knew the beneficiaries did not need the DME. Sadiqr also admitted that he knew the doctor and beneficiary information contained in the fraudulent prescriptions and medical documents came from fraudulent medical clinics and marketers. As a result of this scheme, Sadiqr admitted that he submitted or caused the submission of approximately $950,000 in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare through Cooper Medical Supply.

At sentencing, scheduled for April 12, 2010, Sadiqr faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for defrauding Medicare.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Jonathan T. Baum of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kerry C. O’Neill of the Central District of California. The case is being investigated by the California Department of Justice. The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Since their inception in March 2007, Strike Force operations in seven districts have obtained indictments of more than 500 individuals who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $1 billion. In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS Office of the Inspector General are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) , go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov

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