Three Found Guilty in Medicare Fraud Scheme

An Anaheim physician and two others have been found guilty by a Los Angeles federal jury for their involvement in a Medicare Fraud Scheme involving power wheelchairs.  Officials said that the scheme, which ran from 2007-2012, resulted in over $1.5 million worth of false and fraudulent claims.

At the trial, prosecutors said that Godwin Onyeabor, an officer at Fendih Medical Supply Inc. in San Bernardino, paid kickbacks to a physician named Sri J. Wijegunaratne, and another healthcare professional, Heidi Morishita for fraudulent prescriptions for durable medical equipment.  The scheme ran for 5 years and caused Medicare to pay out nearly $1 million on these false claims.

Several Medicare patients testified in court that they were lured to these medical clinics with the promise of free vitamins in juice, only to receive wheelchairs that they did not need.

According to prosecutors, Onyeabor, Wijegunaratne and Morishita face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count they are guilty of.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles regional office for the United States Department of Health and Human Services inspector general.

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