LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Two San Fernando Valley residents who submitted more than $1.8 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare — almost entirely for medically unnecessary power wheelchairs — were sentenced on Monday, May 30: one to prison, the other to home detention.
Abdul King Garba, 50, of Van Nuys, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee to 21 months in federal prison.
His co-defendant, Queen Anieze-Smith, 54, of Woodland Hills, was sentenced to a probationary sentence of four years in home detention, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The defendants were ordered jointly liable for restitution of $814,445, prosecutors said.
Garba and Anieze-Smith were each convicted last year of five counts of health care fraud following a nine-day trial.
Prosecutors were asking for prison sentences of over four years for each defendant.
The couple — who operated ITC Medical Supply in Van Nuys — billed Medicare for beneficiaries often recruited off the street who were mobile and didn’t need the equipment, evidence showed.
As part of their scheme, Anieze-Smith and Garba falsified paperwork required by Medicare and sometimes failed to deliver the power wheelchairs altogether, raking in nearly $900,000 for the bogus claims.