HOUSTON HEALTH CARE COMPANY OWNER PLEADS GUILTY TO $1.3 MILLION MEDICARE FRAUD

handcuffs-and-calculator-on-headlines-about-white-collar-crime.jpg HOUSTON, TEXAS – The Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services announced that Ekpedeme Obot, 34, pled guilty to health care fraud and making false statements relating to health care matters in a $1.3 million Medicare fraud scheme. Obot was owner and operator of Praise DME, a durable medical equipment company that collected $945,637 in false claims.
From March 2007 to August 2008, Obot submitted claims for durable medical equipment, including orthotic devices such as braces, and accessories such as heating pads, for the treatment of arthritis that were not medically necessary. In addition to the false claims, Obot failed to provide information about his prior conviction on felony theft from 2007, which is required in the supplemental Medicare Enrollment Application. He reported only that he had been under a recoupment action by Texas Medicaid and had entered into a payment arrangement.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 12, 2011. For the count of health care fraud, Obot faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and five years on the false statements charge.