HOUSTON PHYSICIAN CONVICTED OF DEFRAUDING MEDICARE IN WHEELCHAIR FRAUD SCHEME!

$200 KICKBACKS FOR THE SCHEME!

Dr. Michael D. Kim, 68, has been convicted of conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program and 17 counts of health care fraud in a scheme to defraud Medicare of $29 million. Kim was found guilty today by a federal jury after less than two hours of deliberation.

The evidence presented at trial proved Kim fraudulently certified physically-fit Medicare beneficiaries for motorized wheelchairs. The evidence further proved Kim was also receiving kickbacks of $200 cash from the owners of several Durable Medical Equipment (DME) companies who solicited Medicare beneficiaries for Kim to evaluate. Recruiters were transporting Medicare beneficiaries to Kim from various parts of Texas and Louisiana. From April 2002 through October 2003, Kim fraudulently signed more than 500 certificates of medical necessity for motorized wheelchairs for Medicare beneficiaries residing in Louisiana. Kim routinely approved motorized wheelchairs for 20-60 patients a day who clearly did not meet the Medicare guidelines to receive such a device, fraudulently approving motorized wheelchairs for 3240 Medicare beneficiaries in a 16-month period. Medicare paid out more than $10.3 million based on Kim’s fraudulent certificates of medical necessity.

Sentencing is set for Feb. 12, 2008. Each count of health care fraud a maximum penalty of 10 years in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The conspiracy carries a penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

The criminal charges were the result of a joint investigation conducted by agents of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, FBI and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Texas Attorney General’s Office into what has become known as the “motorized wheelchair fraud scheme.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Al Balboni.