September 10, 2013 — Medicare fraud is a huge drain on American taxpayers every year. The government depends on health care informants to help fight Medicare fraud. The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allow health care insiders who discover phony claims and illegal finder’s fees to file a whistleblower lawsuit for the government’s benefit. Tipsters may share a portion of the recovery to reward them for their courage in notifying the government.
California Owner of Durable Medical Equipment Company Resolves Health Care Fraud Charges
Akinola Afolabi, owner of Emmanuel Medical Supply (EMS) in California, has pleaded guilty to health care fraud in connection with a $2.6 million Medicare scam.
Afolabi was the president of EMS, a durable medical equipment company based in Long Beach, California, that sold motorized wheelchairs, walkers and other medical equipment. Afolabi admitted that between 2006 and 2009, he acquired Medicare beneficiary information by using “marketers” paid to refer Medicare beneficiaries to EMS so that EMS could use the information to submit false claims to Medicare. Afolabi caused EMS to bill Medicare for unnecessary equipment, including power wheelchairs that the Medicare beneficiaries did not actually need. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Afolabi further admitted that he knew the medical claims were false, and in some cases the durable medical equipment was never even delivered.
In total, EMS submitted claims to Medicare of almost $2.7 million, and was paid almost $1.5 million. At his sentencing in November 2013, Afolabi will face prison time of up to ten years and a $250,000 fine.
Whistleblower Lawsuits Target Medicare Scams
Whistleblowers are critical allies in the Justice Department’s attack on Medicare fraud. Informants should understand that they have substantial rights under the False Claims Act. The experienced qui tam lawyers at Waters & Kraus offer skilled representation for insider employees ready to do the right thing. Contact us by email or call our Medicare fraud attorneys at 855.784.0268 to talk about what we can do to protect and advance your interests.