Medicare scam ringleader sentenced to prison

A California woman who pleaded guilty to several fraud-related charges after being accused of being the ringleader of a large Medicare scam was sentenced to eight years in a federal prison in addition to paying millions to Medi-Cal and Medicare on Aug. 18. According to the report, the 33-year-old woman pleaded guilty in November charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit identity theft.

The woman was reportedly the owner of Manor Medical Imaging, Inc. As the acting manager, she was accused of generating a large number of fraudulent subscriptions for expensive medications. The prescriptions were pre-signed by the accused woman and were reportedly filled out by the defendant's mother.

Some of the individuals who acted as patients in the scam were veterans who suffered from mental health disorders, elderly Medicare beneficiaries who had had their identity stolen and others. They would have the prescriptions filled and bring the drugs back to the ringleader in exchange for money. The prosecution stated that the drugs were then introduced into the black market to be sold to other pharmacies. The drugs were then re-billed by those pharmacies. Authorities reportedly eventually shut down the scheme in late 2011. Ultimately, 16 people who were involved in the ring had been convicted. Several other defendants are scheduled to be tried.

Those who are accused of being involved in fraud schemes may face consequences that can include a lengthy prison sentence. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, an attorney may be able to provide a strong defense for their client that either results in the charges being dropped or the charges being greatly reduced. The type of defense that is provided depends upon the evidence the prosecution has against the client, as each fraud case is unique.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, "Owner Of Glendale Clinic Sentenced For Bilking Medicare, Medi-Cal Out Of Millions", August 18, 2014

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