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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Man Gets 6 Years for Medicare Fraud

October 04, 2000

SANTA ANA — A Laguna Niguel man was sentenced this week to six years in federal prison for defrauding the Medicare program of $2.5 million.

Vincent Michael Schuman, 42, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Alicemarie Stotler in Santa Ana to begin serving his prison term next week. He was also ordered to pay back the money.

"Health care fraud is a massive problem throughout the country," said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, which prosecuted the case. "The federal government devotes a substantial amount of resources to investigating individuals and organizations that rip off programs designed to benefit the most needy Americans."

Schuman was convicted of operating two medical supply companies, Pyramed Medical Supply in Marina del Rey and Charles Schuman Medical Supply in Monarch Beach, through which he submitted about 7,800 false claims from 1995 through 1997 for services never provided.

The claims were valued at more than $6.5 million, Mrozek said, but only a portion of them were actually paid.

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