LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Eight Southern California medical professionals people, including two doctors, are in custody Wednesday after a nationwide Medicare fraud sweep.
The eight Los Angeles suspects were charged with billing Medicare for about $14 million for services they never provided, part of a nationwide takedown by federal officials in seven cities. Officials say 107 people were arrested for their participation in schemes to collectively submit more than $452 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare.
Two Orange County doctors and two of their co-schemers were charged with submitting nearly $5.7 million in false claims to Medicare for durable medical equipment. Dr. Augustus Ohemeng, 62, of Buena Park, and Dr. George Tarryk, 72, of Seal Beach, were charged billing Medicare for enteral nutrition, a liquid nutritional supplement, for patients who didn’t have feeding tubes. Their co-defendant, George Samuel Laing, 41, of Sylmar, who managed Tarryk and Ohemeng’s clinic, allegedly received kickbacks for referring prescriptions to Ivy Medical Supply, owned by another co-defendant, Emmanuel Chidueme, 59, of Mira Loma. All four were arrested Wednesday morning and are scheduled to appear in court in the afternoon.
In another case, Bolademi Adetola, 46, of Harbor City, and Yuri Martin Lopez, 46, of Lawndale, were charged with obtaining fraudulent prescriptions for Adetola’s company, Latay Medical Services, which allegedly submitted more than $8 million in bogus claims to Medicare for power wheelchairs, orthotics and hospital beds that were either not provided or medically unnecessary.
Federal officials say two more medical professionals are scheduled to surrender on charges related to Greatcare Home Health, a home health agency that received more than $4.5 million from Medicare for services that were either never performed or performed by unlicensed caregivers. The company’s onwer, Hee Jung Mun, has already pleaded guilty to paying illegal kickbacks to doctors to recruit Medicare beneficiaries. Yeong Ja Lee, 50, of Mid-City, is scheduled to appear in federal court Wednesday afternoon on charges she visited and provided services to patients without a license and created false documentation for Greatcare. Sang Whan Ahn, 60, of Koreatown, is also scheduled to appear on charges that she acted as a recruiter, accepting kickbacks for referring patients to Greatcare.