An Arleta, Calif.-based medical equipment supplier has pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud totaling approximately a half a million dollars. Sylvester Ijewere, owner of Maydads Medical Supply, admitted to a scheme in which he purchased fraudulent medical prescriptions for expensive power wheelchairs and other equipment, according Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Ijewere admitted that from June 2007 to October 2009, he obtained prescriptions and other patient information from fraudulent medical clinics and patient “recruiters” and then billed Medicare for the equipment.

Ijewere faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The investigation into the scheme came as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a national effort to combat fraud launched in March 2007. According to Mrozek, the strike force has secured indictments of more than 500 people who have made fraudulent Medicare claims totalling nearly $1.1 billion.