DME Business Owner Lands in Federal Prison for 10 Years for Health Care Fraud and Identity Theft Scheme
|Feb. 2, 2012|
Court considered additional evidence related to obstruction of justice
McALLEN, Texas - Juan De Leon, 41, of Edinburg, Texas, and owner of United DME Inc. was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison, without parole, for his role in a health care fraud and identity theft scheme, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced today.
Following a four-day trial and approximately an hour of deliberations in late September 2011, a federal jury in McAllen convicted De Leon on charges of conspiracy, health care fraud and aggravated identity theft related to his scheme to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid for a variety of medical items including power wheelchairs and diabetic supplies.
At a hearing this morning, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane, who presided over the trial, sentenced De Leon to 120 months in federal prison, the statutory maximum prison sentence for health care fraud, and ordered him to pay $750,000 in restitution to Medicare and Medicaid. De Leon will also have to serve a three-year term of supervised release upon completion of his prison term.
De Leon owned and operated United DME Inc. - a durable medical equipment (DME) company located in Weslaco, Texas. During the trial, the United States presented evidence that from 2007 through 2010, De Leon directed his employees to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid for power wheelchairs that were not delivered and for diabetic supplies and other medical items that were not delivered. The jury heard evidence that instead of providing the medically necessary power wheelchairs prescribed by the patients’ doctors, De Leon would instead provide the patients with less expensive, and more difficult to operate, scooters that they could not use. In other cases, De Leon or his staff submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for medical items allegedly delivered after the beneficiary had passed away. According to evidence at trial, De Leon attempted to conceal the scheme by altering records contained within patient files including backdating delivery tickets and forging patient signatures on delivery tickets.
At today’s sentencing hearing, the United States presented additional evidence that during the investigation and prosecution of the case, De Leon obstructed justice by altering and forging patient files prior to producing them to investigators. In addition, De Leon attempted to influence and intimidate government witnesses by instructing them to lie to investigating agents about various matters.
Previously on bond, De Leon was ordered into federal custody following the jury’s verdicts in September where he has remained and will remain pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
This case was investigated by the FBI, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Greg Saikin and Special Assistant United States Attorney Rex Beasley prosecuted the case.