California Doctors Charged with Medicare Fraud in Nationwide Anti-Fraud Effort

May 4, 2012 by Gregory J. Brod

Our San Francisco insurance attorneys know that for our older citizens, Medicare is an absolutely crucial health care program. That is why when Medicare insurance fraud occurs all seniors (and all taxpayers) are affected.

This week, authorities charged two Orange County doctors and six others in the Los Angeles area for participating in a $14 million fraud scheme against Medicare, according to news reports. US Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that these arrests were part of a larger investigation nationwide against an alleged $452 million in false claims made against Medicare. Across the country, 107 individuals were arrested in seven cities, including, Los Angeles, Baton Rouge, Houston, Detroit, and Tampa. Mr. Holder said, "We are determined to bring to justice those who violate our laws and defraud the Medicare program for personal gain.”

The two Orange County doctors are Dr. Augustus Ohemeng of Buena Park and Dr. George Tarryk of Seal Beach. The two of them are charged with racking up nearly $5.7 million in false claims to Medicare. They allegedly wrote fraudulent prescriptions and also received kickbacks for referring the prescriptions to a medical supplies company. Two others arrested, George Samuel Laing and Emmanuel Chidueme, were arresting with them in this scheme. The four were arrested Wednesday morning and were to appear in court that afternoon.

In another California case, Bolademi Adetola of Harbor City and Yuri Martin Lopez of Lawndale were also charged with getting fraudulent prescriptions for Adetola’s company, Latay Medical Services. Latay allegedly submitted more than $8 million in bogus claims for power wheelchairs, orthotics, and hospital beds, which were either not provided or not medically necessary.

Two more California medical professionals were scheduled to turn themselves in over charges that Greatcare Home Health, a home health agency. The allegations are that Greatcare received more than $4.5 million from Medicare for services that were either never performed or were performed by unlicensed caregivers. More allegations of kickbacks for referring patients to Greatcare were also included.

HHS also suspended or took administrative action against 52 providers following a data-driven analysis and credible allegations of fraud. More than 500 law enforcement agents, including from the FBI, were involved in this huge takedown. In addition to the arrests, 20 search warrants were also executed.

Mr. Holder and Ms. Sebelius did not say how much of these fraudulent claims were actually paid out. But a review of 34 complaints and indictments found that authorities were seeking at least $59.5 million in ill-gotten gains.

Insurance fraud on these arge scales are damaging. But insurance issues affect local residents as well. Often the problems occur when an insurance company wrongfully denies a claim. If you or a loved one has been the victim of insurance fraud or claim denial , please contact our San Francisco and Oakland insurance claim attorney to get help with any legal issues.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

MetLife Settles with States for Almost $500 Million

Blue Shield Settles Rescission Lawsuit

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