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Doctor Defrauded Medicare of $3 Million

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A federal jury convicted a 62-year-old Southern California doctor of defrauding Medicare of $3 million.

Dr. Augustus Ohemeng, of Buena Park, was convicted Thursday after a five-day trial.

He defrauded the government of $2.97 while working as medical director of the Pacific Clinic in Long Beach, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement announcing his conviction.

His health care fraud included billing Medicare for unnecessary procedures and prescriptions and fraudulent claims for durable medical equipment and nutritional supplies, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Nearly all of the wheelchairs he prescribed were for people who could walk, prosecutors said in the statement.

"Over the course of four years, Ohemeng signed hundreds of these fraudulent prescriptions, many of which were blank so his office manager could fill in the details. As a result of the fraudulent conduct involving Ohemeng and his co-conspirators, which took place from February 2005 through September 2009, $5.6 million in fraudulent claims were submitted to Medicare, which paid approximately $2.97 million," according to the U.S. attorney.

Ohemeng faces up to 60 years in prison at his June 17 sentencing. He was one of 10 people - including two doctors and a nurse - charged in an investigation of Pacific Clinic, Ivy Medical Supply in Anaheim, and Santos Medical Supply in South Los Angeles. All 10 were convicted or pleaded guilty, prosecutors said.

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