West New York man charged in alleged $3.5M healthcare fraud scheme

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A West New York man who owned a medical equipment company in Bronx, New York has been charged with allegedly submitting over $3.5 million in fraudulent healthcare claims to private insurers, authorities said. 

Photo via U.S. Attorney's Office Eastern District of New York.
Photo via U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Ikechukwu Udeokoro, 41, of West New York, and Ayodeji Fasonu, 51, of Stamford, Connecticut, have been charged for their roles in an alleged scheme to submit over $3.5 million in fraudulent claims to private insurers, which included government-sponsored managed care organizations, officials said.

Udeokoro and Fasonu were the owner and manager, respectively, of Meik Medical Equipment and Supply LLC, a purported durable medical equipment (DME) company in Bronx, New York.

The defendants were arrested this morning and their initial appearance is scheduled for this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge James Orenstein.

According to the indictment, beginning in approximately December 2010 and continuing through at least February 2014, Udeokoro and Fasonu executed a scheme in which they submitted fraudulent claims to private insurers, including those that participated in Medicare Part C, for reimbursement for DME that was purportedly provided to the insurers’ members, many of whom were elderly or disabled and had insurance through Medicare Advantage plans or New York Medicaid Managed Care plans.

As part of the scheme, the defendants allegedly submitted claims to the private insurers for reimbursement for DME such as multi-positional patient support systems and combination sit-to-stand systems, when the defendants in fact provided the insurers’ members either nothing or a far less expensive product, such as a lift chair/recliner.

According to the indictment, Meik Medical Equipment & Supply submitted more than $3.5 million in fraudulent claims.

The FBI and HHS OIG investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.

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