By LeaAnne Klentzman
A Richmond man entered a guilty plea and charges still are pending against his Sugar Land co-conspirator for scams.
United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced Monday that Joseph Edem, 53, of Richmond, has been convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud relating to medically unnecessary diagnostic testing and physical therapy.
Originally, Edem was indicted along with former doctor Donald Gibson II, 56, of Sugar Land. Edem’s legal problems stem from his operation of medical clinics.
According to federal pro-secutors, those clinics were operated in other individual names in an effort to conceal Edem’s financial interest in the businesses.
In Monday’s plea deal, Edem admitted that he conspired to cause the submission of false claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs and share in the proceeds.
Edem further admitted to having paid patient recruiters for referring Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries, as well as, having paid Medicare beneficiaries for showing up at the medical clinics.
In the indictment, his co-conspirator, Donald Gibson II, of Sugar Land, is alleged to have prescribed, and authorized medically unnecessary diagnostic tests and other procedures which included allergy tests, pulmonary function tests, vestibular tests, urodynamic tests, and physical therapy, among others. These services were then billed to Medicare and Medicaid for payment under Gibson’s billing number, said federal officials.
The indictment indicated that the fraud occurred from January 2007 through January 2012, whereby Gibson allegedly caused more than $19.4 million in medical claims to be submitted to the Medicare and Texas Medicaid Programs. As a result, Medicare deposited approximately $8.5 million into a bank account owned and controlled by Gibson.
After entering a plea of guilty, Edem is scheduled to be sentenced on May 28, 2013. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison, as well as a possible $250,000 fine.
The case against Gibson is pending.