NEW YORK—Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced Matthew Taylor Witkowski was sentenced to 60 months in prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud by fraudulently trafficking in orders for durable medical equipment (DME) such as back, knee and elbow braces. Witkowski previously pled guilty to the conspiracy charge and was sentenced before United States District Judge Denise L. Cote.
“Today, Matthew Taylor Witkowski faced justice for illegally selling orders for durable medical equipment and thus bilking Medicare out of more than $8 million," Williams said. "This sort of fraud substantially harms the Medicare program—and will not be tolerated.”
According to statements made in court and publicly filed documents in this case:
From at least August 2019 through the date of his arrest in July 2022, Witkowski and his co-defendant, Christopher Margait, engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare by illegally obtaining and selling fraudulent written orders for goods and services paid for by Medicare, particularly including for DME. Using a business that he jointly owned and operated with Margait, and a call center that Witkowski owned and operated in the Dominican Republic, Witkowski illegally generated and purchased fraudulent written orders for DME and then sold those fraudulent orders to pharmacies and DME suppliers, including suppliers in New York City. Those pharmacies and DME suppliers then used those fraudulent orders as the basis for more than $8 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare. Many of these fraudulent orders used names and personal health information of actual Medicare beneficiaries, without the beneficiaries’ authorization or prior knowledge. Many of these fraudulent orders also contained professional information of doctors and other health care providers enrolled in the Medicare program, as well as the purported electronic signatures of these providers, which were falsified and created without the authorization or knowledge of these providers.
During the course of the scheme, Witkowski and Margait received more than $4 million in illegal kickbacks from DME suppliers, who made these payments to True Prospects Marketing, Inc., a company controlled by Witkowski and Margait, and to Sales Drive Marketing LLC, a company owned and controlled by Witkowski.
Witkowski, 38, a U.S. citizen who resided in the Dominican Republic, pled guilty on January 19, 2023, to a single count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In addition to the prison sentence, Witkowski was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a forfeiture of $4,065,995 and restitution of $8,131,990 to the Medicare program.
Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.