NIGERIA: Ayodeji Fatunmbi, 47-year-old, has been handed a 4-year-jail sentence after being found guilty of defrauding the United States government of $8.3 million through a fraudulent durable medical equipment (DME) scheme.
The Nigerian man was sentenced to 4 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder and also ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution to the American government.
He was charged for the fraudulent act alongside 47-year-old Olufunke Fadojutimi of Carson in California and 44-year-old Maritza Elizabeth Velasquez from Las Vegas in Nevada. The statement on the US Department of State Website reads in part;
As part of his guilty plea, Fatunmbi admitted that he and others paid cash kickbacks to patient recruiters and physicians for fraudulent prescriptions for DME such as power wheelchairs, which the Medicare beneficiaries did not have a legitimate medical need. Fatunmbi and co-conspirators caused Lutemi Medical Supply (Lutemi), a DME supply company that he co-ran, to submit approximately $8.3 million in claims to Medicare, which resulted in the company being paid over $3.5 million.
Fatunmbi further admitted that he was responsible for $2,090,434 in false and fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary DME and that as a result of his conduct, Medicare paid Lutemi a total of $1,076,893. In furtherance of this scheme, Fatunmbi and a co-conspirator wrote checks from Lutemi’s bank account to Lutemi employees and others, and Fatunmbi instructed that those monies be returned to him to pay the illegal cash kickbacks to the patient recruiters and doctors, he admitted. Fatummbi admittedly directed others at Lutemi to engage in these tranactions to conceal the nature and source of the proceeds of the health care fraud conspiracy.
Velasquez pleaded guilty on July 24, 2013, to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and was sentenced to 15 months in prison and restitution in the amount of $3,411,428. Fadojutimi was found guilty after a jury trial on July 31, 2014, of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, seven counts of health care fraud and one count of money laundering, and was sentenced to four years in prison and restitution in the amount of $4,372,466.
This case was investigated by the HHS-OIG, the FBI and IRS-CI. Trial Attorneys Claire Yan, Emily Z. Culbertson and Justin P. Givens of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case. The Asset Forfeiture Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California is handling the asset forfeiture aspects of the case.