What is Medicare Fraud?

Medicare fraud occurs when a hospital, nursing home, doctor's office, hospice care facility, ambulance service, pharmacy, rehabilitation center, or any other type of healthcare provider overbills Medicare.


Who can report Medicare fraud?

Medicare fraud whistleblowers are almost always healthcare professionals. They are commonly employed as hospital administrators, nurses, hospice or nursing home workers, ambulance drivers, pharmacists, or as any other type of healthcare professionals.

Receive a financial reward for your information.

Healthcare professionals may be entitled to a significant financial reward for becoming Medicare whistleblowers. Learn about receiving a financial reward for your information here.


Los Angeles Couple Sentenced in $14 Million Medicare Fraud Case
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A Los Angeles couple convicted of defrauding Medicare of $14.2 million has been sent to prison by a U.S. District Judge in the Central District of California. Christopher Iruke, 61, received a 15-year sentence, and his wife, Connie Ikpoh, 49, will serve three years. Iruke and Ikpoh were found guilty of multiple counts of health care fraud and conspiracy following their trial in August 2011. A third co-conspirator, Anna Marroquin, was sentenced to three years of supervised release, and two additional co-conspirators are awaiting sentencing. All of the defendants have also been ordered to pay $6.7 million in restitution. Iruke and Ikpoh, both of whom served as pastors at Arms of Grace Christian Center in Los Angeles, operated four different fradulent medical equipment supply companies, hiring relatives and church members as employees. The couple used illicit contacts to purchase forged prescriptions for expensive medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, then used the fake documents to bill Medicare at a marked-up rate. They also offered free medical equipment to Medicare beneficiaries who agreed to provide Medicare card numbers and personal information. According to witness testimony at the trial, Iruke and Ikpho laundered the fraudulent Medicare reimbursements through a fictitious company established in the name of another church member.

In August 2009, law enforcement officers visited two of the companies and questioned several co-conspirators about alleged fraud. A few weeks later, Iruke and Ikpoh shut down the companies, prompting agents to issue subpoenas to the couple's lawyers. Before responding to the subpoenas, Iruke arranged to meet with co-conspirators at an auditorium used by the church, where they destroyed some documents and altered others in an attempt to hide the fraudulent practices. The altered files were found in Marroquin's possession upon her arrest.

The case against Iruke and Ikpoh was pursued by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a special division supervised by the Central District of California's U.S. Attorney's Office. Since 2007, the Strike Force has investigated and charged nearly 2000 defendants who have been responsible for more than $3.6 billion in fraudulent Medicare claims.

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