A New Orleans, Louisiana woman was sentenced today to 32 months in prison for her involvement in a $3.2 million Medicare fraud and kickback scheme.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans of the Eastern District of Louisiana, Special Agent in Charge Eric J. Rommal of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office and Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Dallas Field Office made the announcement.
Sandra Parkman, 63, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt of the Eastern District of Louisiana, who also ordered Parkman to pay $277,197 in restitution. On Nov. 8, 2017, after a three-day jury trial, Parkman was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks, two counts of health care fraud and five counts of receiving health care kickbacks.
According to evidence presented at trial, from 2004 to 2009, Parkman and others engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare by suppling medically unnecessary durable medical equipment, including power wheelchairs, to Medicare beneficiaries in and around New Orleans. The evidence showed that Parkman received kickback payments from co-defendant Tracy Richardson Brown, the owner of an equipment supply company, not only to provide personal identifying information of eligible Medicare beneficiaries, but also to obtain physican signatures on order forms for the medically unnecessary equipment. As a result of the scheme, Parkman received more than $47,000 in kickback payments, and Brown ultimately caused Medicare to pay over $3.2 million based on illegally obtained referrals, the evidence showed.
Brown was previously convicted following a trial in August 2016, and was sentenced to 80 months in prison.
This case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG. Trial Attorneys Kate Payerle and Jared Hasten of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged over 3,500 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for over $12.5 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.