Federal prosecutors link California suspects to local health care fraud

Federal prosecutors link California suspects to local health care fraud

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that Geoffrey Ricketts, age 48; his wife, Marla Ricketts, age 38; Samuel Kim, age 41, all of Porter Ranch, California, and his cousin, Sunyup Kim, age 40, of Granada Hills, California pled guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

The four suspects were indicted on June 11, 2015, for their direction of what prosecutors describe as a $38 million fraud scheme centering around the distribution of "talking glucose meters" that were not medically needed and were often not even requested.  The defendants operated Care Concepts, LLC, which was based in Metairie and Choice Home Medical Equipment and Supplies (Choice), which was based in Chatsworth, California.  According to court documents, the defendants paid kickbacks to workers at call centers in California and South Carolina, from which operators would cold-call Medicare recipients to convince them to accept talking glucose meters and related supplies.  From 2007 through 2015, the defendants caused thousands of claims to be submitted to Medicare through Care Concepts and Choice, virtually all of which were fraudulent.

Each defendant faces a maximum term of ten years' imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and a term of three years supervised release.  In addition, Geoffrey Ricketts owes restitution in the amount of $1,338,210; Marla Ricketts in the amount of $39,880; Samuel Kim in the amount of $988,593 and Sunyup Kim in the amount of $93,927. U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon set sentencing for January 5, 2017.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services for investigating this matter.

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