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Sep 19, 2012 7:39 AM by AP

Ex-owner of medical equipment company pleads

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The former owner of a medical equipment company has pleaded guilty to health care fraud.

U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley says 59-year-old Dorothy Cole, of Rayne, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court.

Cole was charged in a bill of information in June with five counts of health care fraud for obtaining more than $175,000 in Medicare reimbursements to which she was not entitled.

Cole's company, Rest Assure Home Medical Equipment, provided such items as power wheelchairs and scooters to Medicare beneficiaries. From August 2007 through April 2009, Cole admitted billing Medicare for a more expensive wheelchair, but provided customers with less expensive wheelchairs or scooters.

Cole faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not been set.

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