By LeaAnne Klentzman
Patrick Ita, 55, of Sugar Land, the owner of Masspoint Medical Equipment & Supplies, and PUITA Research & Procurement Inc., a medical billing company, has pled guilty to numerous charges. according to US Attorney’s Office. Ita was arrested in January as he returned to the US from a business trip to Amsterdam on a 31 count federal indictment. In that indictment Ita was charged with conspiracy, health care fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering in a scheme to defraud Medicare of nearly $5 million dollars, said United States Attorney José Angel Moreno.
At a hearing this past Monday, Ita admitted to his participation in what was characterized as a 13-month conspiracy to defraud Medicare by using a specific billing code created by Medicare to expedite the approval and payment of claims for medical equipment lost or destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita beginning in October 2005, said a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office.
Its has been in custody since his January arrest. With his plea of guilty to the charges, he is scheduled to be sentenced in July. Ita faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy conviction and a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for the wire fraud conviction.
As part of his plea agreement Ita will have to pay $1.6 million dollars in restitution to Medicare.