OKLAHOMA CITY – A husband and wife duo who were previously charged with 115-counts of Medicaid fraud by a federal grand jury have been sentenced to prison and have been ordered to pay $268,796.70 in restitution to the state’s Medicaid program.
U.S. District Judge Stephen P. Friot sentenced Lawrence Vasquez, 62, to 20 months in federal prison and three years of probation and his wife Eunja Vasquez, 56, to five years of probation and 15 days of weekend incarceration for submitting fraudulent claims for unnecessary medical supplies to Medicaid beneficiaries through their Edmond company, Mercy Diabetic Supply Inc.
Mercy Diabetic Supply is not affiliated with Mercy Health System.
The two pleaded guilty last summer after Attorney General Mike Hunter’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated the company. Investigators found the couple were falsifying Medicaid claims for insulin pump supplies for patients who didn’t use insulin pumps for treating diabetes. Some of the claims the couple filed were for patients who didn’t have diabetes.
Investigators also found the couple falsified medical forms and forged physician signatures as part of their unlawful operation.
The Attorney General’s Office partnered with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma to prosecute the case.
Attorney General Hunter said he and his team are dedicated to working with federal partners, like the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to investigate and prosecute those who take advantage of the Medicaid system.
“The state’s Medicaid program is designed to help men, women and children in need,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Through strong state - federal partnerships, like the one with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will continue to crack down on those exploiting the system and hold them accountable. I appreciate the work by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in my office, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office, led by Robert J. Troester, for the help in successfully prosecuting this case.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Maxfield Green and Assistant Oklahoma Attorney General Lory Dewey, who is also a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuted the case.
The attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes Medicaid fraud, as well as abuse, neglect and exploitation of patient funds in long term board and care facilities. In 2018, the unit concluded 15 fraud cases with $979,860 ordered in restitution. The unit also successfully settled 17 civil cases with defendants agreeing to return $6,099,673 to the Medicaid program in restitution.
Related: Oklahoma City business owners charged with 115-counts of Medicaid fraud