A Baldwin man who owns a Brooklyn medical supply company was sentenced Monday to seven to 21 years in prison for charging Medicaid for a specialized pediatric formula when what he sold was over-the-counter formula, the state Attorney General's office said.
Humphrey Udeh, 43, cheated Medicaid out of more than $1 million and was ordered to pay a $1.7 million fine after a Brooklyn jury convicted him July 6 of grand larceny and other health care fraud-related charges, authorities said.
The owner of Advanced Medical Supply in Crown Heights, Udeh was paid by Medicaid and HealthFirst, a Medicaid-managed care organization, for 3,000 units of a highly specialized liquid pediatric formula for children who must get nutrients from a feeding tube because they cannot chew or swallow food.
But what he supplied between January 2010 and September 2012 was over-the-counter Pediasure, a much cheaper formula, state officials said.
He used generic prescriptions of pediatric formula and false letters of medical necessity, obtained by his employees from unsuspecting physicians and medical facilities, state officials said. He used the generic prescriptions and false letters to support his fraudulent claims, they said.
Medicaid also sued Udeh to seize his assets, authorities said.
Udeh's attorney did not immediately return a call Monday afternoon.
"This defendant had a formula for fraud, filing inflated claims for nutrition designed to help needy children with rare illnesses," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a news release. "The scam drained over a million dollars of taxpayer money, ultimately hurting our most vulnerable and neediest citizens."
A co-defendant in the case, Keva Johnson, pleaded guilty last month on crimes related to the false billing scheme and has a Sept. 9 sentencing date. Charges are pending against other defendants in the case, state officials said.
CORRECTION: An incorrect government health insurance program was referenced in an initial version of this story.