Co-owner of Southland medical supply companies sentenced to prison
City News Service | 7/9/2012, 12:41 p.m.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.--The co-owner of two Southland medical supply companies was sentenced today to 42 months in federal prison for attempting to con Medicare out of about $20 million through phony claims.
U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson also ordered 51-year-old Camillus Ehigie, a Nigerian citizen who lives in Woodland Hills, to pay $7 million in restitution and to serve three years of supervised release after completing his prison term, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Ehigie--who co-owned and operated Prosperity Home Health Services Inc., a home health agency, and Caravan Medical Supplies Inc., a durable medical equipment firm--pleaded guilty to multiple health-care fraud charges.
A Los Angeles federal jury found co-defendant Evans Oniha, 49, of Rancho Palos Verdes guilty last year of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, four counts of health care fraud and one count of false statements relating to health care matters.
He was sentenced in February to eight years in federal prison and also ordered to pay a share of the $7 million in restitution and to serve three years of supervised release.
From October 2002 to February 2011, Ehigie and Oniha conspired with others to defraud Medicare by paying "marketers" for beneficiary information, fraudulent prescriptions and other documents for medical equipment and home health care services, federal prosecutors said.
The defendants used the bogus documents to bill Medicare for services that were not medically necessary, and that often were not provided to Medicare beneficiaries, according to prosecutors.