WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The owner and a marketer of a Louisiana medical equipment supply company were indicted in a $3 million Medicare fraud scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said.
Tracy Brown, 43, of New Orleans, and Sandra Parkman Thompson, 62, currently jailed in Texas, were charged in an 18-count indictment, including healthcare fraud, conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, conspiracy to pay and receive healthcare fraud kickbacks, and illegal remuneration, the Justice Department said in a release Friday.
The indictment indicated Brown owned Psalms 23-DME and allegedly billed Medicare more than $3 million for power wheelchairs, wheelchair accessories and orthotic equipment for Medicare beneficiaries who didn't want or need the equipment. Brown also allegedly paid kickbacks to Thompson and other "marketers" to find doctors willing to prescribe the equipment to Medicare beneficiaries.
Thompson and other marketers were paid for each prescription they obtained for Brown's company, regardless of whether the items were wanted or needed, the indictment said.
Thompson and other marketers allegedly obtained fake prescriptions for medically unnecessary equipment from Drs. Anthony Jase and Michael Hunter, who pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud charges and are awaiting sentencing.
A third physician allegedly provided falsified prescriptions directly to Brown and was paid about $250 per prescription.