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West Monroe man charged in Federal Court with conspiracy to commit health care fraud

MONROE, La. – United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that criminal charges have been filed against a West Monroe man in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud Medicare. The charges filed in federal court are part of the Department of Justice’s 2024 National Health Care Fraud Enforcement Action.

Michael L. Riggins, 61, of West Monroe, Louisiana, was charged by indictment with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and health care fraud for his role in a durable medical equipment (“DME”) scheme. As alleged in the indictment, Riggins was the owner of
Bluewater Healthcare (“Bluewater”), a DME supply company in West Monroe, Louisiana.

It is alleged that from 2018 to 2023, Riggins paid for doctors’ orders for pneumatic compression devices (“PCDs”), a type of DME, and tricked doctors into signing DME orders and certificates of medical necessity in order to bill for the expensive and medically unnecessary DME. In total, Riggins submitted over $3.8 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare for supplying PCDs and was reimbursed over $1.8 million.

These charges are part of a strategically coordinated, two-week nationwide law enforcement action that resulted in criminal charges against 147 defendants for their alleged participation in health care fraud and opioid abuse schemes that resulted in the submission of over $2.5 billion in alleged false billings. The defendants allegedly defrauded programs entrusted for the care of the elderly and disabled to line their own pockets, and the
Government, in connection with the enforcement action, seized over $150 million in cash, luxury vehicles, gold, and other assets.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Flanagan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana and Trial Attorneys Samantha Usher and Kelly Z. Walters of the Gulf Coast Strike Force.

A native of West Monroe, Lexi is a junior at the University of Louisiana Monroe where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in communications.