Two L.A. doctors among 108 arrested in Medicare fraud crackdown
Eight individuals in Los Angeles, including two doctors, were among scores of healthcare providers charged Wednesday as part of a national crackdown on Medicare fraud.
The sweep of arrests in seven major cities, where some $455 million was alleged to have been fraudulently billed to Medicare, marked the highest amount of false claims pursued in a single raid in the history of a federal strike force convened to combat rising fraud in the medical industry.
All told, 108 doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers from around the nation were charged. In Los Angeles, authorities said defendants had filed $20 million in false claims.
Bolademi Adetola, owner of the Latay Medical Services company in Gardena, was charged with billing Medicare for power wheelchairs that never were purchased. The Greatcare Home Health group allegedly paid “kickbacks” to recruiters to find “patients” who were in good health, and then arranged to have doctors knowingly write phony prescriptions for them.
In addition, Dr. Augustus Ohemeng and Dr. George Tarryk were among four individuals connected with a Southern California medical care group that authorities say billed Medicare for feeding tubes for patients who did not need them.
Of the 108 charged, 87 were arrested Wednesday. Federal agents were either still looking for the other 21 or were expecting them to voluntarily surrender.
-- Richard Serrano