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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Woman Gets 13 Years for Medicare Fraud

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A Southern California woman on Thursday was sentenced to 13 years in prison for paying kickbacks for names of patients she used to get $8 million in bogus Medicare claims.

Uben Ogbu Rush, 54, of Carson, submitted more than $15 million in fraudulent Medicare claims and got more than $8.1 million from them, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

U.S. District Judge George King said the long sentence was meant to send a message to others who might commit crimes against Medicare, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Rush owned or controlled six companies that "ostensibly" sold wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment.

Rush ran her scan from 1999 to 2008.

"At a trial in November 2011, federal prosecutors showed a jury how Rush paid marketers to recruit Medicare beneficiaries who would allow their identities and Medicare numbers to be used for the submission of false claims. The evidence also showed how Rush paid kickbacks to marketers, who in turn paid kickbacks to doctors who fraudulently wrote prescriptions, even though the physicians had not examined the patients or an examination revealed that the medical equipment was not medically necessary," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Do-defendant Carlos Alberta Rezabala was sentenced in June 2012 to 41 months in prison. Rezabala, 60, of Downey, was a recruiter for Rush.

Another recruiter, Phitsamay Syoravong, 58, of Orange County, will be sentenced on May 20.

Dr. Alfred Glover will be sentenced on May 28. Glover, 57, of Playa Vista, admitted he took money to write fraudulent prescriptions for Medicare patients, "many of whom he never saw," the U.S. attorney said.

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