A pastor is in need of a Los Angeles Health Care Fraud Lawyer after a serious Medicare fraud ring was exposed and destroyed a congregation in South Los Angeles. Pastor Christopher Iruke and his congregation attempted to shred tons of evidence of the crime as well as stuff papers into the toilet to flush the evidence away. However, he was convicted, along with two others, in a federal trial. The documents he attempted to destroy proved he was linked to bogus prescriptions for power wheelchairs for which he billed the federal government $6,000 a piece. A jury found Iruke and his wife guilty of a scheme that involved more than $14 million in illegitimate Medicare claims. Among the false claims were people who were deceased and others. Iruke's companies filed for over $14 million in claims to the federal government and received back about $6.6 million in reimbursements. That many of course came from the tax payers who supply the federal government. As is commonly the case with these sorts of crimes, the man and his family lived a lavish lifestyle which included luxury cars, international travel and a remodeled home in Baldwin Hills. Iruke's wife, Connie Ikpoh, and the employee who was also convicted had separate Attorneys although it did not come to much for them. People who helped Mr. Iruke were also arrested and charged with healthcare fraud, although they were willing to testify against him and about the document shredding and toilet flushing.
Healthcare fraud and resulting criminal investigations are incredibly difficult, especially if the federal government is involved. A Fraud resulting in millions of dollars will draw the attention of federal prosecutors who will try to get the harshest penalty possible. Years of prison, serious penalties, restitution, loss of medical license and more are all possibilities for people trying make money through healthcare fraud. While this man and his accomplices were guilty, often times the government can make a mistake in their records and charge people who had nothing to do with such a crime.
If you or someone you know needs a federal defense lawyer, contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, for top notch criminal defense in state, federal or local courts.
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Healthcare fraud is a major crime, and punishable by years in prison. With the federal government searching for more money to make up for the lack of taxes during the recession, the pressure will be on to find healthcare fraud fraud offenders.
During the summer of 2009, 42 people were indicted in connection to a Medi-Cal fraud that targeted disabled patients. The indictment charged the 42 people of conspiring to bill the state program for in-home licensed nursing services. According to law enforcement officials, the $4.6 million scheme used unlicensed individuals to provide in-home nursing care for disabled patients. Medi-Cal fraud is a form of healthcare fraud.
According to the United States Attorney’s office, about 75 patients, many of them children with cerebral palsy or developmental disabilities, were treated at home or at school by the unlicensed individuals who stole identities to pose as licensed nurses.
"We believe that this is the largest single case alleging Medi-Cal fraud ever filed in the state of California," said United States Atty. Thomas O’Brien.
Medicare Plus Home Health Providers, a Santa Fe Springs-based company run by Priscilla Villabroza, hired the unlicensed individuals from 2004 to 2007. O'Brien said that Villabroza billed Medi-Cal for nursing services and was reimbursed somewhere on average between $20 to $35 an hour per nurse, but she only paid her employees $8 to $12 an hour, keeping $4.6 million to herself.
Villabroza pleaded guilty in August 2008 to five counts of healthcare fraud. She faces up to 50 years in prison during her upcoming trial.
This is only one of long list of instances of Medi-Cal and healthcare fraud accusations in the state of California. Medi-Cal is part of the state's $34 billion Medicaid program that provides health care for more than six million people including the elderly, disabled and low-income families. According to law enforcement officials, some of the people that worked for Villabroza had training overseas and some had no training at all.
Although Villabroza pleaded guilty to several counts, there are also 41 other people that were indicted in July. Medi-Cal and Healthcare Fraud are both very serious charges and can carry tough sentences as well. While Villabroza pocketed a large percentage of the Medi-Cal reimbursements, others worked for only $8-12 an hour and are being charged as well. Although some of these employees knew exactly what they were doing, there are others who might have been completely in the dark about Villabroza’s actions.
If you have been accused of Medi-Cal and/or healthcare fraud in Los Angeles you need an experienced team of experts to help you minimize charges or have you charges dropped altogether. The Los Angeles Medi-Cal and Healthcare Fraud defense attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin LLP can help you defend yourself in court if you have been accused of Medi-Cal and/or Healthcare Fraud in Los Angeles.
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Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin LLP has been recognized as one of the best U.S. law firms, based on the experience, professionalism, and ethics of its criminal defense lawyers and attorneys. We aggressively defend clients in all Southern California courtrooms on state and federal charges, including DUI, DMV, misdemeanor, felony, juvenile cases, in the following communities and courthouses.