DME patient recruiters plead guilty to Medicare fraud

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 17, 2010

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Three people have pleaded guilty for taking part in a durable medical equipment Medicare fraud scheme.

Houston-area residents Basil Kalu and Ju-Ying Qian, and Louisiana resident Darnell Willis, entered guilty pleas in a federal district court to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The guilty pleas were announced May 5 by the Depts. Of Justice and Health and Human Services.

Qian, 60, and Willis, 50, were patient recruiters for Onward Medical Supply, a Houston-area DME company. Kalu, 41, assisted with Onward activities and also ran his own company, BOK, through the firm.

According to court documents, Onward began billing Medicare for fraudulent equipment claims in 2003, and Qian and Willis admitted accepting kickbacks for recruiting patients for the scheme.

Each of the three defendants faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The case came about through the work of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which operates in seven regions and has obtained indictments of more than 560 individuals since its inception in March 2007.

The defendants in this case could not be reached for comment.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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