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Medicare fraud convict gets prison sentence

October 5, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The owner of a Los Angeles medical equipment company was sentenced Monday to 46 months in prison for defrauding Medicare in a power wheelchair scheme. Sylvester Ijewere, 49, was also ordered to pay $211,755 in restitution.

Ijewere pleaded guilty April 12 to health care fraud.

As the owner of Maydads Medical Supply, Ijewere admitted that from June 2007 to October 2009, he conspired with others to purchase fraudulent prescriptions and medical documents, which he used to submit false claims to Medicare for expensive, high-end power wheelchairs and other medical equipment.

Maydads Medical Supply Company is in the Los Angeles area, but the Medicare patients, whom Ijewere claimed his company supplied power wheelchairs to, live more than 100 miles away in central and northern California.

As a result of his scheme, Ijewere admitted he submitted to Medicare about $471,345 in false and fraudulent claims.

Ijewere's co-conspirator, Donna Wells, a patient recruiter, was charged for her role and her trial is set to begin Nov. 9.

The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, Strike Force operations in seven districts have obtained indictments of more than 810 individuals who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $1.85 billion.