A Nigerian man Ayodeji Temitayo Fatunmbi was sentenced to 46 months in prison on Monday for his role in a durable medical equipment (DME) scheme in which more than $8 million was fraudulently billed to U.S Medicare for DME that was not medically necessary.
Fatunmbi was charged along with Olufunke Ibiyemi Fadojutimi, 47, of Carson, California, and Maritza Elizabeth Velasquez, 44, of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mr. Fatunmbi who had earlier fled the U.S to Nigeria, was arrested and extradited back to California. Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Abuja High Court issued an order for his extradition in October last year to face charges based on money laundering and medical fraud.
Fatunmbi, was sentenced to 46 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder of the Central District of California, who also ordered Fatunmbi to pay $1,076,893.15 in restitution. Fatunmbi pleaded guilty on May 8, 2019 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
As part of his guilty plea, Fatunmbi admitted that he and others paid cash kickbacks to patient recruiters and physicians for fraudulent prescriptions for DME such as power wheelchairs, which the Medicare beneficiaries did not have a legitimate medical need. Fatunmbi and co-conspirators caused Lutemi Medical Supply (Lutemi), a DME supply company that he co-ran, to submit approximately $8.3 million in claims to Medicare, which resulted in the company being paid over $3.5 million. Fatunmbi further admitted that he was responsible for $2,090,434 in false and fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary DME and that as a result of his conduct, Medicare paid Lutemi a total of $1,076,893. In furtherance of this scheme, Fatunmbi and a co-conspirator wrote checks from Lutemi’s bank account to Lutemi employees and others, and Fatunmbi instructed that those monies be returned to him to pay the illegal cash kickbacks to the patient recruiters and doctors, he admitted. Fatummbi admittedly directed others at Lutemi to engage in these tranactions to conceal the nature and source of the proceeds of the health care fraud conspiracy.
Investigation by Per Second News also shows that one Ayodeji Temitayo Fatunmbi was also arrested in Minnesota in January 2002. Mug shot photo below. It is not known if it’s the same person but they bear same name and same date of birth.
Velasquez pleaded guilty on July 24, 2013, to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and was sentenced to 15 months in prison and restitution in the amount of $3,411,428. Fadojutimi was found guilty after a jury trial on July 31, 2014, of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, seven counts of health care fraud and one count of money laundering, and was sentenced to four years in prison and restitution in the amount of $4,372,466.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Nicola T. Hanna of the Central District of California, Special Agent in Charge Timothy B. DeFrancesca of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Los Angeles Regional Office, Assistant Director in Charge Paul D. Delacourt of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division and Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Korner of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.