Medical equipment company owner found guilty in $24M fraud scheme

A federal jury found a California woman guilty of leading a scheme that billed Medicare more than $24 million in fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary durable medical equipment and repairs. 

Tamara Motley, 54, of Redondo Beach, was found guilty on 20 counts of healthcare fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to a June 27 Justice Department news release. 

Ms. Motley was the de facto owner of a pair of medical equipment companies, the release said. Both companies were enrolled with Medicare in the names of her out-of-state relatives. 

She orchestrated the scheme by paying marketers for patient referrals and then directing them to take patients to physicians who prescribed medically unnecessary durable medical equipment, such as power wheelchairs. Later, when Medicare changed reimbursement rules for power chairs to make upfront payments less lucrative to suppliers, Ms. Motley switched to fraudulently billing for power wheelchair repairs, according to the release. 

Two other defendants — an office manager and repair technician for the companies — previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme, according to the release. 

The office manager, Cynthia Marquez, received a time served sentence and was ordered to pay more than $9.8 million in restitution. The technician, Juan Murillo, was sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to pay more than $2.5 million in restitution.

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