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Recruiter sentenced in Calif Medicare scam

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A Los Angeles man has been sentenced to 1 ½ years in prison for receiving more than $1 million in kickbacks by recruiting homeless people on Skid Row as part of a Medicare scheme.

Federal prosecutors say 68-year-old Estill Mitts was sentenced Monday and also ordered to pay nearly $10 million in restitution. Mitts pleaded guilty five years ago to conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion. His sentencing was delayed repeatedly because he helped the government's investigation.

Authorities say Mitts recruited homeless people who were coached to recite false symptoms when they were sent to three hospitals. The government was billed for their care and those involved in the scheme shared in the profits.

Eleven people have either been charged or convicted in connection with the scam.