BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The operators of a healthcare company face prison time after pleading guilty to federal fraud charges.
The US Attorney’s Office - Middle District of Louisiana reported Imeh Ebere, 55, of Baton Rouge, and Sheila Hives, 51, of Baker, were convicted of offenses in connection with Golden Medical Equipment and Supply, Inc. in Baton Rouge.
US Attorney Walt Green said Ebere pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. She faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss derived from her offense. She will also have to forfeit the proceeds of her crime. Her sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 20, 2014.
Green added Hives pleaded guilty to receiving health care kickbacks. She faces a maximum sentence of five years and a fine of $250,000. She will also have to forfeit the proceeds of her crime. Her sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 7, 2014.
Court documents show the pair submitted fake reimbursement claims to Medicare for special nutrition designed for patients that use feeding tubes.
The USDOJ said Ebere admitted to submitting numerous fake claims through her company to Medicare for enteral nutrition products reportedly provided to patients that did not use feeding tubes, thus not needing the enteral nutrition products and not qualifying for them. Officials said she also admitted to submitting about $800,000 worth of claims between 2003 and 2011.
Officials reported Hives admitted to receiving illegal kickbacks from Ebere for referring patients on Medicare to Ebere and Golden Medical Equipment and Supply.