March 11, 2011
UNITED DME INC.’S OWNER AND DELIVERY DRIVER ARRESTED ON HEALTH CARE FRAUD CHARGES
(MCALLEN, Texas) - The owner of a McAllen-area durable medical equipment (DME) company and one of his employees have been indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with conspiracy, multiple counts of health care fraud and aggravated identity theft for their alleged roles in a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid through fraudulent billing for power wheelchairs and diabetic supplies, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
Juan DeLeon Jr., the owner of United DME Inc., and David Villanueva, a United delivery driver, both of Edinburg, Texas, were named in a five-count federal indictment returned under seal on Wednesday, March 9, 2011. The indictment was unsealed today following the arrest of DeLeon, 40, and Villanueva, 33, by federal agents this morning. DeLeon and Villanueva have both made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos who ordered them held in federal custody pending an arraignment and detention hearing on Wednesday, March 16, 2011, in McAllen federal court.
According to allegations in the indictment, from July 2008 through April 2010, DeLeon directed a scheme to submit hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs related to United’s purported sale of DME, including power wheelchairs and diabetic supplies, to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The indictment alleges that, in many cases, United submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for brand-new power wheelchairs, but would either not deliver the power wheelchairs or would deliver less costly DME, including used power wheelchairs or scooters. DeLeon allegedly instructed Villanueva to paint the used wheelchairs black prior to delivery to make them appear new.
The indictment also alleges that DeLeon would direct the submission of fraudulent claims for diabetic supplies. DeLeon would allegedly instruct Villanueva to deliver a one-month supply of diabetic supplies to beneficiaries and, in subsequent months, United submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid for additional diabetic supplies that were not delivered to beneficiaries. To conceal the fraud, the indictment alleges DeLeon instructed Villanueva to persuade unsuspecting beneficiaries at the time of delivery to sign, but not date, additional delivery records, which United later dated and used to justify the fraudulent claims for the diabetic supplies that were never delivered. If Villanueva could not obtain the beneficiaries’ signatures on the additional delivery records, DeLeon allegedly forged the beneficiaries’ signatures.
Conspiracy to commit health care fraud and each count of health care fraud carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in federal prison without parole and a $250,000 fine upon conviction. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year prison term which must be served consecutive to any prison sentence imposed on the underlying charges.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, the FBI and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Gregory S. Saikin is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
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