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Trio convicted of Medicare fraud

Aug. 10, 2011 at 3:36 PM

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Two pastors of a defunct Los Angeles church and their former employee have been convicted of healthcare fraud, the U.S. Justice Department said.

The three were charged in a $14.2 million Medicare fraud scheme.

A federal jury in Los Angeles late Tuesday found Christopher Iruke, 60; his wife, Connie Ikpoh, 49, and Aura Marroquin, 30, guilty of multiple charges. Marroquin had been employed at the couples' fraudulent durable medical equipment supply companies, the department said.

Iruke was found guilty of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and 17 counts of healthcare fraud. Ikpoh and Marroquin were each found guilty of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and four counts of healthcare fraud.

The department said Marroquin was found not guilty of one count of healthcare fraud.

Evidence presented at trial showed that Iruke, Ikpoh and Marroquin billed Medicare for power wheelchairs and other equipment that was not medically necessary and never provided, the department said.

Iruke and Ikpoh were pastors at Arms of Grace Christian Center in Los Angeles where Iruke and Ikpoh also operated Pascon Medical Supply, a fraudulent equipment supply company, the department said.

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