Southern California Man Sentenced 10 Years for $1.5 Million DME Fraud

A Southern California man was sentenced this week to serve 121 months in prison for his role in a durable medical equipment (DME) fraud scheme, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday.

Vahe Tahmasian, 36, of Glendale, California, was found guilty by a federal jury on March 21, 2014 for his involvement in a $1.5 million Medicare fraud and identity theft scheme.

Evidence brought forth at trial revealed that between April 2009 and February 2011, Tahmasian operated Medicare fraud at Orthomed Appliance Inc., a DME supply company in West Hollywood.

Tahmasian, along with co-conspirator Erick Mkhitarian, purchased Orthomed from the company’s previous owners and put the company in the name of a “straw” owner.

Both men then stole the personal identifying information of Medicare beneficiaries and doctors in the company’s patient files and used that information to submit a “large volume” of fraudulent claims to Medicare, DOJ noted.

During a three-month period in late 2010, evidence showed Tahmasian submitted more than $1.2 million in fraudulent claims to the federal program for services that were never prescribed by a physician and never provided to Medicare beneficiaries.

Tahmasian and Mkhitarian then took out more than $622,000 in cash from the company over a six-week period in early 2011, according to DOJ, for which it was revealed that Tahmasian used a fake California driver’s license to further the scheme.

In total, court evidence showed that Tahmasian submitted a total of $1,584,640 in claims to Medicare and received approximately $994,036 on those claims.

In addition to his prison sentence, Tahmasian was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $994,036 in restitution to the Medicare program.

Written by Jason Oliva

Jason Oliva

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. More Information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. For more information, see our cookie policy