The former owner of a Los Angeles-area medical equipment supply company pleaded guilty on Aug. 26 to a $2.6 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Akinola Afolabi, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud before U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez. According to court documents, Afolabi was the owner and president of Emmanuel Medical Supply, a durable medical equipment supply company. Afolabi admitted that from approximately June 2006 through September 2009, he engaged in a scheme to commit health care fraud through the operation of Emmanuel by providing medically unnecessary power wheelchairs and other equipment to Medicare beneficiaries, and by submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. Afolabi admitted that he obtained Medicare beneficiary information through various means, including “marketers,” whom he paid to refer Medicare beneficiaries to Emmanuel. Afolabi admitted knowing that the prescriptions and medical documents were fraudulent and that some of the beneficiaries did not receive the equipment, yet he certified to Medicare with the submission of each claim that the equipment was received and was medically necessary. From approximately June 7, 2006, through Sept. 28, 2009, Afolabi submitted approximately $2.6 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare for power wheelchairs and related services, and Medicare paid Emmanuel approximately $1.4 million on the claims. Afolabi is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 25. The defendant faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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