Woman sentenced for involvement in health care fraud scheme
POSTED: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 7:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 7:04am
New Orleans, La — United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr. announced today that Sandra Thompson, 58, of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $129,330 in restitution for her convictions on health care fraud and conspiracy to pay and receive illegal remunerations.
On August 21, 2012, Thompson was convicted after a jury trial on 13 counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to pay and receive illegal remunerations. The convictions arose as a result of Thompson’s participation in a scheme to defraud involving the Baton Rouge-based company known as Lobdale Medical Services which was owned by Beatrice and Young Anyanwu.
As part of the scheme to defraud, Thompson and others procured the names and personal information of Medicare beneficiaries in and around the New Orleans area and delivered these names to Dr. Anthony Jase, a co-defendant in the prosecution who currently is awaiting sentencing, who then signed false and fraudulent prescriptions for power wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment for which the Medicare beneficiaries had no medical need. Thompson subsequently delivered the fraudulent prescriptions to the Anyanwus, who submitted claims to Medicare through Lobdale Medical Services for the medically unnecessary equipment. The total billings to Medicare by Lobdale Medicare Services exceeded $1,000,000.
Thompson, along with the Anyanwus, also participated in a conspiracy to pay and receive illegal remuneration for the durable medical equipment billed by Lobdale. The Anyanwus paid Thompson and others a kickback for every claim for power wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment items that were submitted to, and paid by, Medicare. The kickback was based on a percentage of the reimbursement value of the equipment to the price of the particular item, thereby providing an incentive to recruit beneficiary claims for the most expensive models of durable medical equipment.
Dr. Anthony Stephen Jase pled guilty to the health care fraud scheme to defraud on October 31, 2012, and is awaiting sentencing. Beatrice and Young Anyanwu pled guilty to the health care fraud scheme to defraud as well as the illegal remuneration conspiracy on August 14, 2012, and were sentenced on February 1, 2013.