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Healthcare Fraud: Medical Equipment Owner Sentenced in $24M Medicare Scam

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Ayanna Amadi
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Healthcare Fraud: Medical Equipment Owner Sentenced in $24M Medicare Scam

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In a significant blow to healthcare fraud, Tamara Yvonne Motley, the owner of two medical equipment companies, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. The 55-year-old, also known as Tamara Ogembe, was found guilty for leading a scheme that billed Medicare for over $24 million in unnecessary medical equipment and repairs.

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Fraudulent Scheme Unearthed

According to the United States Department of Justice, Motley was found guilty of 20 counts of healthcare fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The case was investigated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the FBI; and the California Department of Justice.

The fraudulent scheme involved Motley paying marketers for patient referrals. These marketers were directed towards physicians who would then prescribe unnecessary durable medical equipment. The scheme later transitioned to fraudulently billing for power wheelchair repairs. Two other defendants were also implicated and convicted in this case.

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The Financial Impact

The financial impact of the fraud was substantial. Over an eight-year period, one of Motley's companies, Action, billed Medicare more than $18.2 million for Durable Medical Equipment (DME), while the other company, Kaja, billed Medicare $6.3 million. Medicare reportedly paid Action nearly $10.3 million, and paid Kaja approximately $2.8 million for these claims.

As a part of the sentence, Judge Blumenfeld ordered Motley to pay $13,107,422 in restitution and $2,300 in special assessments, as reported by Hoodline.

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Healthcare Fraud - A Growing Concern

This case highlights the prevalence of healthcare fraud, particularly within the medical equipment industry. It underscores the urgent need for stricter oversight and stronger regulatory measures. As this case demonstrates, not only can such fraudulent schemes lead to significant financial losses for healthcare providers, but they also undermine the integrity of the healthcare system and potentially jeopardize patient care.

Healthcare fraud is not a victimless crime; it affects everyone, from individual taxpayers to the healthcare system as a whole. This case serves as a stark reminder of the necessity of continuous vigilance and regulation in the healthcare sector to protect the interests of patients and prevent the misuse of public funds.

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