OLYMPIA — In a case brought by the Attorney General, the owner of a wheelchair company that fraudulently delivered 119 used or refurbished wheelchairs to the poor and disabled across the state was convicted on felony charges Sept. 25 in Thurston County Superior Court.
Michael Mann, the Seattle-based owner of Wheelchairs Plus, Inc., pleaded guilty as charged to one count of Theft in the First Degree and two counts of Medicaid False Statement. He billed the state Medicaid program for delivering new wheelchairs to Medicaid clients when in fact the wheelchairs were used or refurbished.
“It is deplorable that fraudsters take advantage of the most vulnerable among us for financial gain,” said Attorney General Ferguson. “My office will hold healthcare providers accountable when they fail to provide adequate care for vulnerable people and commit Medicaid fraud.”
Mann will face up to nine months in custody for the theft when he is sentenced on Nov. 13, 2014. The Attorney General’s Office will recommend that the court sentence Mann to nine months in jail.
The conviction follows an investigation by the AGO’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit prompted by a worker’s tip. Jeff Hartley led the MCFU investigation. Assistant Attorney General Marty Raap is prosecuting the case.
The AGO has also filed a civil case against Mann alleging that he collected over $600,000 in fraudulent payments. That civil case was filed separately by AAG Steve Dietrich in Thurston County Superior Court.