Local Medical Company Executive Gets 17 Years in Powered Wheelchair Scam

A former executive with a local medical supply company is going to federal prison for 17 years in a phony wheelchair scam, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Federal prosecutors say Kathleen Kelly-Tuorila, who was Medical Billion Manager for DTS Medical Supply Company of Devine, would steal the identities of individuals and file claims with Medicare and Medicaid that the individuals had received expensive powered wheelchairs from DTS.

In some cases, prosecutors say Kelly-Tuorila would sell actual wheelchairs to actual customers, and bill Medicaid and Medicare for a more expensive device.

Kelly-Tuorila was also ordered to pay $3.2 million in restitution to the federal government.

Two other defendants in the case, DTS Medical owner Daniel Smith, 55, was also convicted of counts including aggravated identity theft and health care fraud, and he was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison.

A woman prosecutors say worked on a commission bases to find, or make up, new customers, Robin Renee Haigler, 60, was sentenced to seven years in federal prison.

"The prison terms handed down in this case against three defendants total more than 51 years," U.S. Attorney Richard Durbin said following the sentencing.  "These sentences reflect the seriousness of the defendants' actions and our commitment to hold accountable anyone who would rob, steal, or illegally take without cause Medicaid and Medicare funds."

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