Jan 13, 2012 10:57 AM by AP
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say the owner and a patient recruiter for a medical equipment company have been sentenced in a $4.7 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Nnanta Felix Ngari, the owner of Unique Medical Solutions, and Ernest Payne, a patient recruiter, were sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge James J. Brady in Baton Rouge.
Ngari was sentenced to five years in prison and Payne to four years and seven months. Ngari and Payne were convicted last August.
Prosecutors say that starting in 2003 Ngari paid recruiters, including Payne, to locate and solicit prescriptions for medically unnecessary power wheelchairs. Prosecutors say Payne used churches and other Baton Rouge locations to host health fairs at which Medicare patients would be prescribed the wheelchairs by doctors.