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Hurricanes Used to Fraudulently Sell Unnecessary Power Wheelchairs & Bilk Medicare Out of Millions

April 19, 2010

Paula Whitfield and her friends went door-to-door offering free power wheelchairs and scooters. Now, Whitfield and her boss Helen Etinfoh have been convicted by a jury and each face up to 50 years in prison for the Medicare scam. Witnesses testified at trial that Whitfield and others offered them free power wheelchairs “in exchange for their Medicare information.”  In addition to the kickback problem, there was one hitch — all of the witnesses could walk and none of them needed wheelchairs. To add insult to injury, Etinfoh used the information to bill Medicare for replacement wheelchairs — fraudulently claiming that the Medicare beneficiaries all lost wheelchairs in Hurricane Ike that scourged the Houston, Texas-area in 2008. To pile insult upon insult, before the scam was discovered, Etinfoh sold her fraudulent companies Luant & Odera Inc. and Tonni Medical Equipment & Supplies to suspected healthcare fraudster, Ezechukwu J. Ohaka who has been on the run from authorities since July, 2009.

To report DME fraud or Medicare fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.

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