LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Two San Fernando Valley residents who submitted more than $1.8 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare — almost entirely for medically unnecessary power wheelchairs — were sentenced Tuesday.
Abdul King Garba, 50, of Van Nuys, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee to 21 months in federal prison.
His co-defendant, Queen Anieze-Smith, 54, of Woodland Hills, was sentenced to a probationary sentence of four years in home detention, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The defendants were ordered jointly liable to repay more than $814,000, prosecutors said.
Garba and Anieze-Smith were each convicted last year of five counts of health care fraud following a nine-day trial.
Prosecutors were asking for prison sentences of over four years for each defendant.
The couple — who operated ITC Medical Supply in Van Nuys — billed Medicare for beneficiaries often recruited off the street who were mobile and didn’t need the equipment, evidence showed.
As part of their scheme, Anieze-Smith and Garba falsified paperwork required by Medicare and sometimes failed to deliver the power wheelchairs altogether, raking in nearly $900,000 for the bogus claims.
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