California medical equipment company owner pleads guilty to $21M Medicare fraud

A father and son pleaded guilty in a $21.7 million scheme to defraud Medicare through fraudulent medical device prescriptions. 

According to a June 27 news release from the Justice Department, Anthony Bell Sr., and his son, Anthony Bell Jr., operated Universal Medical Solutions in Santee and San Diego, Calif. 

The pair paid kickbacks to companies to obtain Medicare patient information, according to the Justice Department. These companies paid physicians to provide medically unnecessary prescriptions for knee, shoulder, ankle and back braces.

Mr. Bell Sr. and Mr. Bell Jr. sent braces to the patients they obtained, then billed Medicare significantly more than they paid for the braces, according to the Justice Department. 

The younger Mr. Bell made false statements to FBI investigators, the Justice Department said. 

As part of the plea deal, Mr. Bell Sr. will forfeit over $800,000 and a multimillion dollar house. 

The father and son face up to 10 years in prison for healthcare fraud, according to the Justice Department's release. 

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