United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory
Eastern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON
FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2009 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txe PHONE: (409) 839-2538 CELL: (409) 553-9881
JURY FINDS MEDICAL SUPPLIER GUILTY
OF HEALTH CARE FRAUD
BEAUMONT, TX - U.S. Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory announced today that the owner of a medical supply business has been found guilty by a jury of federal health care fraud violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
ENITAN OSAGIE ISIWELE, 44, of Sugarland, Texas, was convicted of 16 counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to pay illegal kickbacks late yesterday following a jury trial before United States District Judge Marcia Crone.
According to information presented in court, Isiwele owned and operated Galaxy Medical Supplies, a medical equipment provider, based in Houston, Texas, but with customers throughout the state, including many in the Eastern District of Texas. From June 2005 until April 2008, Isiwele purchased Medicaid and Medicare patient information from door-to-door solicitors who canvassed neighborhoods in search of Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries. Isiwele then used this information to bill Medicaid and Medicare for motorized wheelchairs when the patients did not meet the diagnostic requirements to receive a motorized wheelchair and had never been prescribed one by a physician, as required by Medicare and Medicaid rules.
On at least one occasion, Isiwele contacted a Medicare recipient in Crockett, Texas and told him he had won a free power wheelchair, and that he would be by to deliver it. That recipient, along with all the others who appeared in court, testified he was never prescribed a power wheelchair by a physician.
In order to circumvent Medicare and Medicaid diagnostic requirements, Isiwele took advantage of a temporary relaxation of the normal safeguards. In the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, in an effort to expedite aid those affected, Medicare allowed providers to submit claims without prescriptions and other required paperwork if the beneficiary reported that their previously prescribed equipment or supplies had been destroyed by a hurricane. In total, Isiwele fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid approximately $1.6 million and was paid nearly $300,000.00. Isiwele was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 3, 2008.
Isiwele faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.
The case was investigated by the Texas Attorney General's Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General and was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher Tortorice and Howard Blackmon.
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