Saturday, June 1, 2013

Alegria Phankonsy Sentenced to Over Four Years in Prison for Defrauding Medicare of $11 Million in Fraudulent Billing Scheme


LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A woman who defrauded the Medicare program of $11.1 million in a fraudulent medical equipment billing scheme, was sentenced today to 51 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and criminal forfeiture of $11.1 million in assets, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Alegria Phankonsy, 43, formerly of Orange County, Calif., but currently in custody, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson. Phankonsy pleaded guilty in November 2012 to one count of health care fraud and one count of tax evasion.

According to the indictment and the facts supporting the guilty plea, between about March 2005 and February 2010, Phankonsy operated several medical equipment supply companies in Las Vegas, Proforma Medical Source, Divine Health and Freemotion Plus Medical Supply. Phankonsy operated the first two companies using the alias’ Marie Villanueva and Marie Phan, respectively, and operated Freemotion using the name Phankonsy. Between about March 2005 and March 2010, Phankonsy fraudulently billed Medicare for medical equipment, such as leg prostheses and power wheelchairs that had not been ordered by a physician, were not needed by clients or were not provided to clients at all. To identify clients, Phankonsy paid “marketers” in southern California to obtain patients for her various companies. The marketers provided these clients with money in exchange for their Medicare information, which was used to bill Medicare for the unnecessary items or items not provided. The scheme resulted in Phankonsy receiving $11.1 million to which she was not entitled.

For the tax years 2006, 2007, and 2008, Phankonsy prepared and submitted false individual income tax returns by underreporting the income she earned from the Medicare fraud scheme. During those three years, Phankonsy underreported approximately $7.8 million in gross receipts, resulting in a total tax loss of approximately $2.4 million. Phankonsy also appended fraudulent W-2 forms to her returns and falsely represented that she had made significant estimated tax payments, when she had not.

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