Northbrook Man Accused in 'Erectile Pumps' Scheme

The plot targeted arthritis and diabetes patients through telemarketing, prosecutors said

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    TK
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    A Northbrook man plans to plead guilty in Rhode Island to charges he shipped unwanted "erectile pumps" to diabetes patients as part of a Medicare fraud scheme, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

    Gary Winner, 49, is accused of purchasing $26 penis enlargers from an adult website, repackaging them and shipping them to patients with information claiming the devices helped "bladder control, urinary flow and prostate comfort."

    Prosecutors say he then charged Medicare $284 each as part of the scheme, claiming the pumps treated erectile dysfunction.

    Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha said the Illinois resident also agreed to forfeit $2 million that he collected in the fraud, which began in 2005. Winner and his defense attorney did not immediately return messages on Thursday.

    In a plea agreement signed Tuesday, Winner has agreed to plead guilty to five charges, Neronha said, including health care fraud, the introduction of an adulterated and misbranded medical device into interstate commerce and money laundering.

    Prosecutors say Winner targeted Medicare beneficiaries through his medical equipment company, Planned Eldercare, based in Buffalo Grove and persuaded patients to provide their Medicare information by offering free medical equipment and supplies.

    The plot targeted arthritis and diabetes patients through telemarketing, prosecutors said.

    A change-of-plea hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 18. Winner faces up to 33 years in prison and $760,000 in fines, prosecutors said.