A 52-year-old Houston man has been sentenced to federal prison for his role in a health care fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Prince Oji pleaded guilty on Jan. 23, 2012, to money laundering and was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.  Oji was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $574,622.23 to the Medicare program, $1,207.17 to American United Insurance, and $728.04 to American Postal Workers Union Insurance.  Oji must also forfeit $6,621.61.

According to the indictment, from January 2007 to February 2009, Oji, the owner of a Louisiana medical supply company, conspired with others to defraud Medicare through the marketing of power wheelchairs and accessories, as well as ortho kits.  The ortho kits primarily consisted of a bag of orthotic items, including braces, wraps, supports, and a heat lamp or heating pad.  As part of the scheme, the conspirators illegally obtained health information, including names, dates of birth and Medicare numbers from elderly individuals.  Oji supplied beneficiaries with ortho kits and power wheelchairs which were not prescribed by a physician and were not requested by the beneficiaries.  Claims were submitted by Oji for approximately 325 beneficiaries located in Texas, Louisiana, and elsewhere.  Oji submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare of more than $1.75 million and obtained more than $570,000 from the scheme.  Oji was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sep. 15, 2011.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the Texas Office of the Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OAG-MFCU), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld.