Indianapolis businessman indicted for health care fraud

The owner of an Indianapolis-based medical equipment business, Benchmark Mobility Corp., has been indicted for bilking $442,688 from Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

Benchmark sold powered wheelchairs, scooters, lift chairs and hospital beds to patients and then billed the Indiana Medicaid and federal Medicare programs for reimbursement.

The indictment, announced Wednesday by U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett, alleges that owner Ronald Reed, 46, submitted medical claims to Medicare and Medicaid for used medical equipment that he had purchased online, while claiming it was new.

According to a statement from Hogsett’s office, Reed often purchased the used medical equipment on web sites such as eBay and Craigslist. He then allegedly instructed Benchmark’s employees to change serial numbers and take other actions to hide the fraud.

The indictment claims the fraud started in March 2007, when Benchmark was running low on funds, and continued until March 2011. During those four years, Reed allegedly submitted and was reimbursed for $388,872 in claims to Indiana’s Medicaid program, and $53,816 in claims to Medicare.

Reed also has been charged with 13 counts of aggravated identity theft for allegedly using a Medicaid recipients' identification without permission as part of the scheme.

“This alleged scheme not only defrauded taxpayers, but also victimized some of the most vulnerable in this community,” Hogsett said in a prepared statement.

A message left for Reed’s attorneys was not immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.

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