Los Angeles/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on December 06, 2023
Redondo Beach Woman Sentenced to 15 Years for Leading $24 Million Medicare Fraud SchemeSource: U.S. Courts

A Redondo Beach woman has been handed a hefty 15-year prison sentence for her role in a scam that milked Medicare out of more than $24 million, federal prosecutors announced. Tamara Yvonne Motley, who also went by Tamara Ogembe, was convicted for orchestrating a complex fraud scheme centered on billing Medicare for unnecessary wheelchair repairs and equipment.

Tuesday's sentencing by U.S. District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr. came after a five-day trial that culminated on June 27 with Motley's conviction of 20 counts of healthcare fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Reportedly used to carry out the illegal activities of her scheme, her infant's caretaker was even enlisted unwittingly in the criminal enterprise, according to a statement from the Justice Department.

Judge Blumenfeld's sentence also includes an order for Motley, 55, to pay $13,107,422 in restitution and $2,300 in special assessments. The scams were conducted through her de facto ownership of Action Medical Equipment and Supplies and Kaja Medical Equipment & Supply, both businesses using the names of out-of-state relatives to enroll with Medicare.

Motley exploited weak Medicare reimbursement rules and directed marketers to bring patients to corrupt physicians who prescribed medically unnecessary equipment, such as power wheelchairs (PWCs). Bogus repair claims were often filed, where they were billed at $3,000 to $4,000 each for services that were usually never rendered. Motley deceived inspectors, prosecutors argued, for the sake of keeping her companies accredited and her purse filled with Medicare payments, according to the Justice Department.

The heavy hand of justice also fell on two of Motley's associates. Cynthia Karina Marquez, an office manager at both businesses, pleaded guilty to making false statements affecting a health care program and was sentenced to time served, plus supervised release and a restitution payment of $9,886,646. Juan Roberto Murillo, a repair technician for the companies, also pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy and received three years of probation with $2,504,119 in restitution, as investigated by several government agencies, including the FBI and the California Department of Justice.

For further details, inquiries can be made to Ciaran McEvoy, Public Information Officer, at [email protected] or by phone at (213) 894-4465. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kristen A. Williams and David H. Chao.