The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office announced that six felony charges have been filed against three men who operate LaFuente Ocular Prosthetics, Oklahoma City. The charges allege that more than $30,000 was reimbursed by Medicaid for fraudulent claims submitted by the defendants, Henry LaFuente and Brandon Ray LaFuente, co-owners of the business, and licensed prosthetist Billy Joe Wilkerson Jr.
The company is said to have billed the Oklahoma Health Care Authority on behalf of Medicaid recipients for prosthetic devices that were not provided, for more expensive prosthetic devices than were delivered, and for new prostheses after delivering used prostheses to patients.
Each of the defendants are charged with six counts, including conspiracy to defraud the state of Oklahoma, making false claims under the Oklahoma Medicaid program, failing to maintain records of claims submitted to Oklahoma Health Care Authority for services or goods, grand larceny, unlawful use of a computer to commit a criminal offense, and engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses. If convicted, they face up to 18 years in prison and fines of more than $123,000 combined.
La Fuente Ocular Prosthetics was founded in 1983 by Henry La Fuente, a board-certified ocularist, and began providing prosthetic limbs in 2004. According to Oklahoma’s News 9, the five-year investigation into the company began after a woman claimed she was given a used prosthetic leg after being led to believe it was custom fitted; investigators said the state was billed for a new device.
Brandon LaFuente told News 9 that the investigation is a misunderstanding. “The last thing that we would want to do is jeopardize ourselves by filing fraudulent claims,” he said.