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BRAINTREE MAN ORDERED TO PAY OVER $1.5 MILLION TO VICTIMS OF HEALTH CARE FRAUD

MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - A Braintree man was sentenced today in federal court for defrauding Medicare of almost $1.5 million by submitting false reimbursement claims.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Susan J. Waddell, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General in New England, announced that KINGSLEY TOCHUKWU EZE, 32, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Woodlock to five years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release. The defendant was also ordered to pay over $1.5 million in restitution to Medicare and 14 secondary insurers.

U.S. Attorney Ortiz said, “By improperly billing Medicare, criminals siphon resources from the most vulnerable among us. Their actions have also helped to drive up health care costs nationwide. We are more committed than ever to safeguarding taxpayer dollars and ensuring that the health care coverage of our seniors, families and children is secure.”

During an eight day trial in April, evidenced proved that EZE, the owner of Kings Enterprize in Quincy, defrauded Medicare of almost $1.5 million by submitting false reimbursement claims for durable medical equipment ("DME") between 2006 and 2007. EZE engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare by submitting hundreds of false claims to and receiving reimbursement from Medicare for DME that had not actually been prescribed by any doctor, and in many cases had not been provided to any Medicare beneficiary. The evidence further proved that EZE made a false statement in his Medicare Enrollment Application by intentionally omitting the name of an individual who had an ownership, financial, or control interest in Kings Enterprize, and who in fact received approximately 75% of Kings Enterprize’s gross proceeds.

“Today’s sentence sends a strong message to those who attempt to defraud Medicare. Greed at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens will not be tolerated,” said SAC Susan J. Waddell. "The Office of Inspector General will continue to aggressively investigate those who defraud the Medicare system.”

The case was investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amanda P. M. Strachan and Jeremy M. Sternberg of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.

 

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