On July 2nd, 2013

DOJ Special Agents At Work: Guilty Pleas in $10 million Wheelchair Scheme

ASA-DOJOur California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members who are special agents in the California Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse helped crack a $10.1 million Medicare Fraud case that resulted in the arrests of seven people, two of whom, pleaded guilty this week.

On July 1, Dr. Emmanuel Ayodele, 65, of Los Angeles pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud and Alejandro Maciel, 43, of Huntington Park pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.  They each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

"This is a case in which DOJ special agents  worked with federal agencies to see that justice is served," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona.  "Because of their thorough investigation, four defendants in this case, including a doctor and  former pastor, have pleaded guilty.  The other three will stand trial."

Ayodele admitted he wrote medically-unnecessary prescriptions and defrauded Medicare by taking part in a scheme with  medical equipment supply companies  to bill Medicare for power wheelchairs that were not truly needed by patients.

Maciel admitted to recruiting "patients" at their homes, swap meets and  grocery stores and misrepresenting his true identity.  He convinced people to give  him their Medicare billing information and he would take them to fraudulent clinics where unnecessary prescriptions were written for power wheelchairs. 

Ayodele and Maciel admitted they and medical supply companies submitted, and caused to be submitted, more than $10.1 million in false  and fraudulent claims to Medicare. The owner of one of the medical supply companies, a former pastor,  has also pleaded guilty in this case, as has another doctor.  Three other defendants, including a registered nurse, are scheduled for trial in July and in September.  

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