A Medical Device Daily

A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted a physician assistant for his role in a $7.7 million Medicare fraud scheme.

After a seven-day trial in federal court in Los Angeles, a jury found Ronald Luis Bradshaw, 59, guilty on all charged counts, including conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, multiple counts of health fraud and aggravated identity theft for prescribing medically unnecessary durable medical equipment to hundreds of Medicare beneficiaries under the stolen identity of a doctor.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Bradshaw worked as a licensed physician assistant at a Los Angeles clinic, Glenmountain Medical Group, allegedly under the supervision of a doctor. Evidence at trial established that from about April 2005 to April 2008, Bradshaw prescribed hundreds of motorized wheelchairs and custom-fitted orthotics to Medicare beneficiaries under the apparent authority and supervision of a doctor. Bradshaw also ordered diagnostic tests for these beneficiaries under the same doctor's apparent authority.

The doctor, whose unique physician identification number had been used by the defendant to forge medically unnecessary prescriptions, testified that he never worked at Glenmountain and that he never authorized the defendant to use his number. The total amount billed under this doctor's name for medical equipment and tests prescribed by the defendant was $7,708,069.

At sentencing, scheduled for Nov. 12, 2009, Bradshaw faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each of the four healthcare fraud counts as well as the conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud count for which he was convicted. In addition, he faces a mandatory two-year prison sentence on the aggravated identity theft count, which must be served consecutive to the sentence on the fraud counts.

The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Steven Kim of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher K. Lui, with the investigative assistance of the HHS Office of the Inspector General and the FBI. The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Federal prosecutors have indicted 115 cases with 257 defendants in Miami, Los Angeles and Detroit since the inception of strike force operations in March 2007. Collectively, these defendants are alleged to have fraudulently billed the Medicare program for more than $600 million.