Women charged ND federal court with Medicare fraud
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Two women from Las Vegas are accused in a Medicare fraud scheme involving referrals for people who needed power wheelchairs.
Armenui Bezoyan and Maryann Sison are charged in federal court in North Dakota with conspiracy to defraud the United States to pay and receive health care kickbacks, and payment and receipt of health care kickbacks. They pleaded not guilty on Friday.
Authorities said Bezoyan owned a company that sold medical equipment and Sison was part-owner and operator of a home health care agency. Bezoyan allegedly paid Sison more nearly $76,000 for the referral of Medicare beneficiaries who needed wheelchairs.
U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon and Neil Fulton, head of the public defender’s office for the Dakotas, declined to comment directly about the case, which is being tried in North Dakota because Fargo-based Noridian Healthcare Solutions LLC processes and pays Medicare claims for equipment in Nevada.
“A case like this is generally very document-intensive and time consuming,” Fulton said. “Given that fact, it is difficult for our office to say anything at this point other than that we will begin to review those materials carefully.
“Recall that this is only an allegation at this point and the government retains its burden to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.
Prosecutors allege that the scheme took place from about May 2006 to September 2010. Court documents accused Bezoyan of paying Sison between $800 and $1,000 for each referral.