WASHINGTON – A Los Angeles medical equipment supplier, who submitted almost $1 million in false claims to Medicare for expensive, high-end power wheelchairs, was sentenced today to serve 30 months in prison, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. of the Central District of California; Glenn R. Ferry, Special Agent-in-Charge for the Los Angeles Region of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); and Timothy Delaney, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
Adejare Ademefun, 57, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John F. Walter in the Central District of California. In addition to the prison term, Ademefun was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $499,548 in restitution to Medicare.
In February 2010, Ademefun pleaded guilty to health care fraud. As part of his plea, Ademefun admitted that from January 2006 to his arrest in October 2009, he owned and operated Jamef Medical Supply, a fraudulent durable medical equipment (DME) supply company, which he used to submit almost $1 million in false claims to Medicare. Ademefun admitted he paid illicit kickbacks to co-conspirators for medical prescriptions and other documents he needed to defraud Medicare. Ademefun focused his fraudulent billings on power wheelchairs, which were among the most expensive DME that a Medicare provider could bill to Medicare. In fact, Ademefun admitted that approximately 95 percent of all the claims he submitted to Medicare were for power wheelchairs. Ademefun admitted he supplied these power wheelchairs to Medicare beneficiaries who were illegally solicited by patient recruiters or “marketers” for medical equipment they did not want or need.
Ademefun admitted he was deliberately indifferent to the fact that the power wheelchair claims he submitted to Medicare were false even though Ademefun knew there was a high probability that the doctors whose names appeared on the prescriptions he purchased from his co-conspirators did not prescribe the power wheelchairs. Ademefun also knew that only six doctors were supposedly responsible for referring approximately 50 percent of his business, and that approximately 60 percent of his customers lived more than 100 miles from Jamef. Ademefun admitted he submitted approximately $941,028 in false claims to Medicare during the course of the scheme.
On March 24, 2010, Ademefun’s co-conspirator Leonard Nwafor was sentenced to 108 months in prison for his role in the scheme.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Jonathan T. Baum of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kerry O’Neill of the Central District of California. The case is being investigated by the California Department of Justice and 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 its inception in March 2007, strike force operations in nine locations have charged more than 1,480 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for more than $4.8 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, 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.