A physician’s assistant was sentenced Monday to three years in federal prison for defrauding Medicare out of millions of dollars by signing fraudulent prescriptions and other medical documents while working at two separate medical clinics in the Los Angeles area.

Erasmus Kotey, 78, of Montebello, was also ordered to pay approximately $3.5 million in restitution to the Medicare program.

While working at medical clinics at in Los Angeles and Monterey Park in 2007 and 2008, Kotey signed prescriptions for medically unnecessary diagnostic tests, power wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment, prosecutors said. Based on those prescriptions, testing facilities and medical supply companies submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare.

Phony prescriptions from Kotey at the two clinics were responsible for about $7 million in false and fraudulent claims, and Medicare paid about $3.5 million on those claims, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The scheme at the Los Angeles clinic also involved Susanna Artsruni, a North Hollywood woman who previously admitted she caused $25 million in fraudulent claims to be submitted to Medicare, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Kotey remains free on bond and has been ordered to self-surrender in August after completing a course of medical treatment.

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