Thursday, May 30, 2013

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Dallas Man Sentenced to Prison for Health Care Fraud in Case Investigated by State and Federal Officials

The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas issued the following news release on May 29, 2013:

Owner of a Dallas Medical Equipment Supply Company is Sentenced to 30 Months in Federal Prison on Health Care Fraud Conviction
Defendant Also Ordered to Pay Nearly $700,000 in Restitution

DALLAS — Olalekan Sorunke, 40, of Rowlett, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 30 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $691,175 in restitution, following his guilty plea in February 2013 to one count of health care fraud, stemming from the operation of his business, Lincoln Medical Supply, Inc. (Lincoln), in Dallas.

Judge Solis ordered that Sorunke surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on July 10, 2013. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

According to documents filed in the case, Lincoln was a durable medical equipment (DME) supply company. As its owner/operator, Sorunke maintained a valid Medicare group provider number to submit Medicare claims for DME. Sorunke submitted Medicare claims that were not medically necessary or were not provided to Medicare beneficiaries. In one instance, for example, in July 2009, Sorunke submitted a claim to Medicare for providing a heavy-duty wheelchair to a beneficiary, when he knew that this beneficiary did not need a wheelchair, much less a heavy-duty wheelchair. He fraudulently billed Medicare $7,689 for that claim.

In total, Sorunke’s scheme resulted in a loss of $691,175. Sorunke used the fraudulently obtained funds for his own personal use.

The case was investigated by the Dallas Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) Strike Force, which includes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the FBI and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mindy Sauter was in charge of the prosecution.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,500 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

To learn more about the HEAT Strike Force, go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.