A former church pastor conspired with one of his former parishioners to defraud Medicare of more than $6 million through a durable medical equipment fraud scheme to sell wheelchairs to people who didn’t need them, says DoJ. Dawaran Vasquez pleaded guilty last week that she and her former pastor, Christopher Iruke, “used fraudulent prescriptions and documents they purchased from various individuals to support the false power wheelchair and DME claims.” According to documents tendered to the court during her plea hearing:
“Vasquez admitted that she and her co-conspirators submitted claims to Medicare prior to delivering the power wheelchairs and DME to Medicare beneficiaries in order to ensure that Medicare would pay them. Vasquez admitted that she and her co-conspirators often knew that the Medicare beneficiaries did not need the wheelchairs, either because the beneficiaries said they did not need them, or Vasquez observed them walking.”
Vasquez and Iruke conspired with several others, working through sham companies — Pascon Medical Supply, Horizon Medical Equipment and Supply Inc., Contempo Medical Equipment Inc. and Ladera Medical Equipment Inc. — all in the Los Angeles, California area. Vaquez could spend as much as 10 years in prison for her role in the crime.
To report DME fraud or other Medicare fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.