LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Los Angeles woman was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison for using phony medical clinics and the stolen identities of doctors to defraud Medicare out of more than $6.2 million.
Carolyn Ann Vasquez, 47, was also ordered to pay $6.2 million in restitution by U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall, who said she must serve three years of supervised release following the prison term.
Vasquez pleaded guilty in March to conspiring with others to use a series of fake Los Angeles-area medical clinics to defraud Medicare from 2007 to 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
It wasn’t the first medical fraud case to be brought against Vasquez.
According to court documents, she pleaded guilty in 1993 to participating in a health care fraud scheme in which she and others used telemarketers to defraud government-funded health care benefit programs out of about $41 million.
In the latest case, Vasquez admitted that her co-conspirators used the identities and Medicare provider numbers of physicians to submit bogus claims to Medicare for work the doctors did not perform and for power wheelchairs, medical equipment and diagnostic tests that the physicians did not order or prescribe.
She acknowledged that as a result of her conduct, Medicare was defrauded of nearly $6.3 million.
A co-defendant, Eduard Aslanyan, pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy charges and is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 6.
A second co-defendant, David Garrison, a physician assistant who worked at the fraudulent medical clinics with Vasquez and Aslanyan, is scheduled for trial on Jan. 24.