Thomson businesswoman Detra Wiley Pate has been indicted on 54 counts of various federal crimes by a grand jury.
According to the March 7 indictment from the U.S. District Court Southern District of Georgia Augusta Division, Pate was indicted on counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering transactions over $10,000.
During the time covered in the indictment, Pate was the chief executive officer and owner of Southern Respiratory LLC, a company that sells durable medical equipment (DME) including wheelchairs and accessories, CPAP machines and supplies and other items.
According to the indictment, from January 2014 to approximately Jan. 26, 2017, Pate and unindicted and unnamed co-conspirators "submitted thousands of fraudulent claims to Medicare for DME for which Southern Respiratory was not entitled to reimbursement because DME was not ordered by a physician, medically necessary and not provided as billed."
The health care fraud charges involved a scheme in which Pate, aided and abetted by others, submitted or caused to be submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, seeking reimbursement for extra heavy duty wheelchairs and other items even though she knew the chairs were not ordered by physicians or medically necessary.
In addition, eight counts of the indictment allege Pate stole Medicare provider identifier numbers from several doctors and used them in the fraud scheme. The indictment also alleges she stole identities of three patients.
Pate was also indicted on nine counts of money laundering with transactions over $10,000 as part of the conspiracy to commit health care fraud.