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MADISON — Attorney General G.B. Van Hollen announced today that a Milwaukee man has pleaded to and been convicted of Medicaid fraud for his part in a scheme to file false claims for fictitious durable medical equipment. Ferguson Saffold, Jr., appeared on February 3, 2014, before Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Dennis P. Moroney, who imposed and stayed a sentence of four years imprisonment – comprising two years initial confinement with two years extended supervision – and placed Saffold on probation for three years. As conditions of probation, Saffold was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $63,276.23, maintain absolute sobriety, provide truthful testimony in any other litigation regarding the scheme, complete a parenting program, perform 75 hours of community service, and maintain full-time employment. Judge Moroney also ordered 60 days in the Milwaukee House of Corrections for use by the probation agent.
According to the criminal complaint, Saffold participated in a scheme to defraud Wisconsin Medicaid by the submission of claims for payment for the provision of durable medical equipment (DME) used for orthotic purposes that was never actually provided. Medicaid is a healthcare program for the needy and disabled jointly funded by the state and federal governments. Orthotics is a branch of medicine that deals with the use of specialized mechanical devices to support weakened joints or limbs.
Saffold became certified as a DME provider and facilitated the submission of claims for halo cervical devices, tension scoliosis devices, and KAFO devices used to support the knee-ankle-foot. The equipment typically requires specialized medical treatment for installation and use, but no such complementary claims from hospitals or physicians were filed, leading to the investigation and eventual conviction.
The Medicaid Fraud Control and Elder Abuse Unit of the Wisconsin Department of Justice conducted the investigation and handled the prosecution. Complaint