Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Former Texas Wheelchair Exec Sentenced To 5 Years For Healthcare Fraud

Edem James Etuk, 55, of Fiarburn, Texas and the former owner of PMS Medical Equipment Distributors, a wheelchair distributor based in Houston, was sentenced to 5 years in prison plus restitution of nearly $1.6 million for his role in defrauding the federal Medicaid and Medicare programs. He plead guilty in October 2007 to conspiracy to defraud Medicare and health care fraud admitting he engaged in a 14-month conspiracy with several other individuals. The fraud involved fraudulently being reimbursed by the programs for wheelchairs that were not needed or delivered. One key co-conspirator was Houston medical doctor, Michael D. Kim, to whom Etuk paid kickbacks for "Certificates of Medical Necessity" which are required to bill Medicare and Medicaid. Kim, who falsified the certificates, was convicted of the conspiracy to defraud Medicare and 17 counts of healthcare fraud, wire fraud and money laundering in August 2008 and is scheduled for sentencing on February 12, 2009.

Read the story here and here.

Read the FBI's announcement here.

Read the DOJ's original announcement here.

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