RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Raleigh man was sentenced Thursday for fraud and identity theft, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The USDOJ said 53-year-old Furman Alexander Ford was sentenced to 17 years in prison for conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, healthcare fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, and 10 counts of aggravated identity theft. 

On Oct. 19, 2022, he was convicted by jury trial of all the charges.

Get crime updates in your inbox – Sign up for CBS 17’s Crime Tracker newsletter

According to court records, Ford was the owner and operator of IAM Healthcare based in Raleigh.

Evidence presented at trial said Ford oversaw a scheme to trick group homes into providing client Medicare information.

These group homes were located in Wake, Durham, and Johnston counties.

Ford also targeted small community churches in Bladen County by offering them food in exchange for Medicare information, according to court records.

Records said Ford used the information from his schemes to submit Medicare claims on behalf of elderly and disabled beneficiaries who did not receive any services from IAM Healthcare.

From Dec. 2018 to Feb. 2020, records said Ford submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare for reimbursement.

As a result of Ford’s schemes, more than $500,000 was billed to Medicare through IAM Healthcare, according to the USDOJ.

The USDOJ said at least 74 beneficiaries whose information had been stolen had claims submitted to Medicare for services not rendered. 

Those claims alone totaled at least $251,508, of which $166,928 was paid to Ford, they said.

Thursday, the Court made it a point to deter Medicare providers from abusing taxpayers’ trust.

“If they are caught, the consequences will be time in a penitentiary, and that’s fair and that’s just, and that what is going to happen today,” the Court said.

“We live in a generous nation, but some choose to feed their greed at the expense of those in need. This defendant stole the identities of Medicare beneficiaries to defraud a taxpayer-funded program intended to help elderly, poor and disabled citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “This 17-year sentence is fitting for a defendant who stole from the most vulnerable in our society.”