^
Keep Houston Press Free
4

Patrick Ita: The Genius Who Combined Medicare and Katrina Fraud

In the Southern District of Texas, U.S. Attorneys often deal with two kinds of fraud: scams involving a) Medicare, or b) Hurricanes Katrina or Rita.

It takes a special genius to combine the two, and apparently Patrick Ita is that man.

Prosecutors unsealed indictments today alleging Ita, 55, scammed the government out of $5 million by claiming to have provided motorized wheelchairs to victims of Katrina and Rita.

He was arrested on New Year's Day at Bush Intercontinental after arriving from Amsterdam.

Just as some dude name Reese saw the magic in combining chocolate and peanut butter, Ita, the feds say, had the inspiration to bring together two disparate fraud trends.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Ita, they say, used what is called a "CR Modifier" in his Medicare paperwork

The CR Modifier was supposed to be used by a [medical-equipment] supplier when that supplier had provided a replacement piece of equipment, like a power wheelchair, that had been severely damaged or destroyed by either Hurricane Katrina or Rita.

Instead, the indictment alleges, Ita used the CR Modifier for hundreds of fraudulent power wheelchair claims where the CR Modifier did not apply because the beneficiary either: a) did not possess a power wheelchair prior to either Hurricane Katrina or Rita; or b) did not suffer significant damage to, or destruction of, his/her power wheelchair from either Hurricane Katrina or Rita; or c) never received a power wheelchair from the defendant after either Hurricane Katrina or Rita

Ita was indicted on conspiracy and fraud charges.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.