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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Pastor Ain’t Going to Heaven Any Time Soon; Gets 15 Years in Medicare Fraud Scam

By Allan Lengel

Pastor Christopher Iruke, 61, is going to anywhere but heaven — at least for the time being.

The feds announced on Monday that the pastor of a now defunct Los Angeles church who owned and operated several fraudulent durable medical equipment (DME) supply companies was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in a $14.2 million Medicare fraud scheme. He was also ordered to pay $6.7 million in restitution.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said a jury last August found Iruke and his wife, Connie Ikpoh, 49, and one of their employees, Aura Marroquin, guilty of conspiracy and health care fraud offenses following a two-week trial in Los Angeles.

Authorities said that Iruke and Ikpoh were pastors at Arms of Grace Christian Center, a church that operated from 5700 Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles.

They also operated from the property Pascon Medical Supply, a fraudulent DME supply company and hired hired several of their parishioners.

The group used fraudulent prescriptions and documents to bill Medicare for expensive, high-end power wheelchairs and orthotics that were medically unnecessary or never provided, authorities said.

The power wheelchairs cost about $900 per wheelchair wholesale, but were billed to Medicare at a rate of approximately $6,000 per wheelchair.


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