A 60-year-old Texas man was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison this week for defrauding Medicare through his health care company that operated in Baton Rouge and Houston.
U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick on Monday also ordered Ahaoma Boniface Ohia to pay the Medicare program more than $1.2 million in restitution and forfeit the proceeds of his criminal activity up to an additional $1.2 million, U.S. Attorney Walt Green said.
“Today’s sentence sends one of the clearest signals yet to those who would commit health care fraud in this district,” Green stated.
Ohia, of Missouri City, Texas, was convicted in June on seven counts of health care fraud.
He caused his company, All-Star Medical Supplies, to submit hundreds of fraudulent claims to Medicare from January 2007 through February 2009, according to trial evidence.
Ohia submitted hundreds of fraudulent claims for “brace kits” — in matching left- and right-side pairs — regardless of whether any of the Medicare beneficiaries named in the claims needed or had prescriptions for the items, Green said.
He also submitted hundreds of fraudulent claims for a highly specialized, custom-fabricated device intended to be used by amputees, without ever actually providing a single such device to his clients, none of whom needed the device anyway, Green stated.
Dick also noted at Ohia’s sentencing that he submitted numerous claims for expensive power wheelchairs. In those claims, Ohia falsely stated he had replaced power wheelchairs for numerous beneficiaries whose original wheelchairs — he falsely claimed — had been damaged or destroyed by a hurricane.