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Court overturns man's Medicare fraud conviction

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that evidence used to convict an Oklahoma City businessman of Medicare fraud was insufficient. A second man's conviction in the case was upheld.
BY ROBERT E. BOCZKIEWICZ Modified: October 16, 2013 at 9:07 pm •  Published: October 17, 2013
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An appeals court has overturned the conviction of one of two men found guilty for allegedly helping a former medical equipment supply company in Oklahoma City bilk Medicare.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 on Tuesday that the evidence used to convict Olalekan Rufai in 2011 in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City was insufficient.

Rufai and Adedayo Adegboye were convicted of aiding and abetting health care fraud by the company, First Century Medical Supply Inc., between 2007 and 2009.

Federal prosecutors alleged that the men, who were officers of the company, aided in submitting false claims to Medicare for motorized wheelchairs and related equipment.

Rufai and Adegboye allegedly obtained identification numbers of Medicare beneficiaries and billed the government for equipment that some beneficiaries did not need or did not receive.

Government's case questioned

Last year the men were sentenced to a year and a day in prison and ordered jointly to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution. Federal Bureau of Prisons records show that Rufai served his prison term and was released.

Tuesday's 38-page decision said the government's case was weak and insufficient to prove that Rufai knew he was aiding in fraud committed by First Century.

The appellate judges split 2-1 in concluding that the evidence against Adegboye was sufficient and upheld his conviction.

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