Medical Equipment Suppliers Convicted of Health Care Fraud
A federal jury convicted two men today for engaging in a scheme to defraud Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care plans of over $3.8 million.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Ikechukwu Udeokoro, 47, of North Bergen, New Jersey, owned Meik Medical Equipment and Supply (Meik), a durable medical equipment supplier that was located in the Bronx, New York. Ayodeji Fasonu, 56, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, was Meik’s manager. Through Meik, Udeokoro and Fasonu billed Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care plans for hundreds of expensive patient support systems that were never provided to patients or caregivers. These support systems included large devices that were designed to assist with lifting immobile patients and patients in nursing homes. In reality, Udeokoro and Fasonu provided patients with recliner chairs that had a seat lift feature. Between December 2010 and February 2014, Udeokoro and Fasonu fraudulently billed Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care plans more than $3.8 million and were paid approximately $2.4 million.
Udeokoro and Fasonu were both convicted of health care fraud. They are scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 14 and Aug. 16, respectively, and each faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York; Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI New York Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Office of Investigations made the announcement.
The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Andrew Estes and Patrick J. Campbell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Criminal Division’s efforts to combat health care fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program. Since March 2007, this program, comprised of 15 strike forces operating in 24 federal districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for more than $19 billion. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, are taking steps to hold providers accountable for their involvement in health care fraud schemes. More information can be found at https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/health-care-fraud-unit.