In February 2012, Gary Winner was sentenced to 37 months in prison for health care fruad, money laundering, and introduction of an adulterated and misbranded medical device into interstate commerce, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release. The release states that Winner defrauded Medicare of more than $2.2 million through orders for unnecessary medical equipment.
Between 2005 and early 2009, Winner was the owner of durable medical equipment supplier Planned Eldercare. According to the release, Winner made employees find patients with diabetes or arthritis via telemarketing and in order to get the patients' Medicare and doctor information, told employees to tell patients that the supplier could send them medical products for free. He then had employees order thousands of products other than those requested by or medically necessary for these Medicare patients.
In addition, Winner said he had employees tell male diabetic Medicare patients that an erectile pump would help their prostate problems and improve blood circulation in the urinary/prostate area. He then purchased penis enlargers, repackaged them as erectile pumps offering health benefits, and then profited from Medicare reimbursement for the devices, according to the release.
According to the release, Winner also said he waived Medicare copayments to encourage patients to accept the unneeded products without reporting the issue. Medicare does not allow copyaments to be waived.
Winner's sentence: 37 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, $2,210,152 in restitution to Medicare, and a $12,500 fine
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