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|Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by Ovularia: 10:16am On Feb 23, 2011|
Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud
February 22, 2011
United States Attorney's Office
Central District of California
February 17, 2011
SIX LOS ANGELES-AREA DEFENDANTS INDICTED FOR SUBMITTING NEARLY $30 MILLION IN FRAUDULENT BILLS TO MEDICARE
LOS ANGELES – As part of a nationwide crackdown on Medicare fraud, six local defendants were arrested today on charges of submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare, mostly for electric wheelchairs that were never delivered.
Three indictments charging six defendants were unsealed today in United States District Court in Los Angeles. The local charges are among cases filed in nine cities across the United States that charge a total of 111 defendants, who cumulatively are accused of being involved in nearly a quarter billion dollars worth of false billings submitted to Medicare.
The Southland defendants arrested today are:
Camillus Ehigie, 50, of Woodland Hills;
Evans Oniha, 48, of Rancho Palos Verdes, who self-surrendered this morning;
Charles Achike Agbu, 56, of Carson;
Obageli Brooke Agbu, who is Charles Agbu’s daughter, 24, of Carson;
Joseph Ofoegbu, 58, Gardena; and
Sarah Hua, 64, of Monterey Par, who self-surrender this morning.
The six defendants are expected to be arraigned on the health care fraud charges this afternoon in federal court in downtown Los Angeles, with the exception of Ehigie who is being treated for an undisclosed medical condition.
Over the course of nine years, Camillus Ehige and Evans Oniha allegedly submitted more than $16 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare for durable medical equipment and in-home nursing services that typically were not provided to Medicare beneficiaries.
Ehige and Oniha were the owner/operators of Caravan Medical Supplies in Culver City and Prosperity Home Health Services in Lawndale. Ehige owned and operated Osbed Medical Supply in Woodland Hills. Ehige and Oniha were charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and several substantive counts of health care fraud for billing the Medicare program for durable medical equipment and home health services that were not medically necessary and, in many instances, not even provided. Ehige and Oniha allegedly paid “marketers” for access to Medicare beneficiary information or to have Medicare beneficiaries obtain fraudulent prescriptions for equipment or services. Ehigie and Oniha were also charged with making a false statement in a health care matter, and Ehigie was charged with obstructing an investigation into a healthcare offense for instructing a co-conspirator to lie to law enforcement agents about the scheme run out of Caravan, Osbed, and Prosperity.
In the second case, Charles Achike Agbu and his daughter, Obageli Brooke Agbu, were charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and several counts of health care fraud for submitting fraudulent claims for durable medical equipment through their Carson companies. Charles Agbu owned and operated Bonfee, Inc. and Obageli owned and operated Ibon, Inc. The indictment alleges that the Agbus billed Medicare for durable medical equipment, such as electric wheelchairs and orthotics, that was not needed, wanted, or even delivered to the Medicare beneficiaries for whom the bills were submitted. As part of the scheme, the Agbus allegedly obtained prescriptions from doctors for the medically unnecessary equipment and then used those prescriptions, along with the Medicare beneficiary information, to submit fraudulent claims to the Medicare program. Bonfee and Ibon allegedly submitted to Medicare a total of approximately $12 million in fraudulent bills for durable medical equipment.
Joseph Ofoegbu, the owner and operator of Iyke Associates in Torrance, and Sarah Hua, a marketer who procured beneficiaries for Ofoegbu, were charged with three counts of health care fraud for submitting fraudulent claims for reimbursement for motorized wheelchairs. The indictment alleges that Ofoegbu used marketers, including Hua, to recruit beneficiaries who were then seen by physicians who prescribed medically unnecessary durable medical equipment. The prescriptions were sent to Iyke Associates, which fraudulently billed Medicare using those prescriptions. According to the indictment, the beneficiaries either did not receive the equipment or they received less expensive equipment than the items Iyke billed to Medicare. Iyke billed a total of approximately $1.5 million in claims for DME it purported to provide to Medicare beneficiaries.
In announcing the nationwide crackdown on Medicare fraud today, Attorney General Eric Holder said: “With this takedown, we have identified and shut down large-scale fraud schemes operating throughout the country. We have safeguarded precious taxpayer dollars. And we have helped to protect our nation’s most essential health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid. As today’s arrests prove, we are waging an aggressive fight against health care fraud.”
The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations are part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative announced in May 2009 between the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country.
“Today’s actions show that we will not tolerate criminals who pay kickbacks for referrals of Medicare business or who will bill for services that were medically unnecessary,” said Glenn R. Ferry, the Los Angeles Region’s Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. “These actions are part of a coordinated, nationwide sweep in our continuing battle against greedy criminals who profit from exploiting federal health care programs.”
Tony Sidley, Senior Special Agent in Charge for the California Department of Justice, stated: “The California Attorney General’s Office is committed to fight fraud against the state Medi-Cal program. CAL DOJ has supported the HEAT initiative from its inception in the Los Angeles region. Today’s operation is another example of a successful and coordinated effort to fight Health Care Fraud in Los Angeles.”
An indictment merely contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial.
The Strike Force cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; and the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Medical Fraud and Elder Abuse.
posted on 02-22-2011, 18:28:23 PM
Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud
When the medical supplies raid swept through Houston some husbands even left their wives and absconded to Naija while the Iyawo was captured and jailed.
many are in jail for healthcare fraud
Our people are just too greedy
Everyone wants to live in a mansion and show off and drive the flashiest cars
go home and obtain chieftaincy titles
to what gain?
You see a couple just struggling like everyone else and overnight they start a medical supplies business and blow up
na so person dey get rich?
See the list below of 30 Nigerians captured in medicaid fraud
Many US-based Nigerian professionals are concerned that such developments like this Texas Medicaid fraud continue to stain the mostly good records of Nigerians in this country.
One of them, who is also a public commentator, Professor Bolaji Aluko said he expects the Nigerian government to fully cooperate with FBI authorities in bringing to justice those who might have escaped into Nigeria.
Said he, “we cannot allow Nigeria to be a haven for run-away suspected/confirmed criminals - that would not be consistent with the budding “Heart of Africa” project being launched around the world by the Nigerian government.”
Thank you prof,you spoke well
Specifically, the suspected criminals used about 32 companies in the state to falsely make phoney medical financial and supply claims that did not exist. Throught the Medicaid system, these firms took money from the state of Texas for adult diapers, wheelchairs, and other medical supplies that were never delivered. According to the indictments, the suspects accepted reimbursements, based on billings for supplies that were never delivered to patients as was meant to be.
For instance, one of the Nigerians whose arrest was prominent and recorded on video, currently available on the internet and shown around the world is Ededem Edem. He has been indicted by a Harris County(equivalent of a local government area) grand jury on Nov. 27, 2006, for second-degree felony aggregate theft by a government contractor for billing and receiving payments of over $100,000 from the Medicaid program for adult diapers that were never delivered to Medicaid recipients. If convicted, Edem and others may face a 2-20 years jail term and a fine of up to $10,000.
The list of the names of the 31 suspects aslo indicated that most of them were linked with one of the 32 medical supply businesses involved in making the fraudulent and phoney medical claims. Some of such compnaies include Interstate Medical Supply, Edima Health Management Group, Essential Healthcare Clinic&Supplier, Ollie Ross Medical, Edison Medical Supply, Semeds Medical Equipment, Citizens Medical Equipment, EMCO Medical Supplies Inc., Goldnet Medical Supplies Corp, Sinex Medical Supply, all in Houston.
Outside Houston, there are several other companies involved. They include Sam’s Medical Supplu in Richmond, Blue Rose and C&M Medical Equipment in Missouri City, Pinnacle Medical Supply, in Katy and Perfect Medical Equipment in Sugarland.
Of all the 31 indicted suspects, 5 are females, some of which may include Non-Nigerians judging from their names. Phone calls by Empowered Newswire to the homes of several of the suspects did not produce any substantial reaction as many of the families of the suspects feigned ignorance of the news.
Aluko, a university professor based in Washington D.C. described the incident as a disgrace. According to him, “First, to have so many Nigerians involved in such a scam in the Houston area is a disgrace, particularly in the aftermath of the CNN report which was vigorously protested by both the Nigerian community in the US and the Nigerian government. “
He urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to take a more proactive role as a matter of must, in order to ensure “better role modeling by its fellow citizens.”
With the preponderance of names from a particular section of the country, Aluko called on US-based Nigerian ethnic and national organizations to ensur that their members with questionable wealth be put under the microscope.
Prominent among the Nigerians arrested is Ededem Edem, whose photo was displayed at the press conference on Friday by the Texas Attorney-General.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by buzugee(m): 3:39pm On Feb 23, 2011|
get dat money mayne.
get dat money mayne
get dat money mayne
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by EzeUche_(m): 3:41pm On Feb 23, 2011|
I am preparing myself for the tribal onslaught.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by ~Bluetooth: 3:44pm On Feb 23, 2011|
what can i say,crime runs in their genes.we know where they come from.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by buzugee(m): 3:44pm On Feb 23, 2011|
i wonder how many nigerians are in american jails. does anyone have a figure on this ? i need to start a company that will cater to nigerians in jail. they pay me from their stolen loot in naija while i help them get all they need from medication to books to toiletries to ofe onugbu get dat money mayne
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by buzugee(m): 3:45pm On Feb 23, 2011|
EzeUche_:oh yeah ndigbo folk done did it now
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by alj harem(m): 3:46pm On Feb 23, 2011|
why should there be any tribal issue here , ,.,.,
this is a shame on nigeria government and PDP
if you can not provide adequate health service and other basic things for your people, they would have no choice but to travel outside the country and be disgraced there,.,
shame on nigeria!!!!
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by alj harem(m): 3:47pm On Feb 23, 2011|
it runs in nigerians genes because they are nigerians and we know they are nigerians
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by buzugee(m): 3:49pm On Feb 23, 2011|
white collar crime. they will get out in 4 years. enough time to go enjoy their mansion for fillage
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by ~Bluetooth: 3:52pm On Feb 23, 2011|
They are nigerians on the outside and inside,they are ibo
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by EzeUche_(m): 3:53pm On Feb 23, 2011|
Very true. They will be going to one of those cozy federal prisons. Then they will be sent back home.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by Katsumoto: 3:53pm On Feb 23, 2011|
Come on now; there are Yoruba gangs in the US as well now. No one is a saint.
Besides as far as the international community is concerned, they are Nigerians.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by ~Bluetooth: 3:57pm On Feb 23, 2011|
but if these six people had done well outside Nigeria,they would be called the true sons of biafraland by ibos.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by buzugee(m): 3:59pm On Feb 23, 2011|
EzeUche_:right right. its jollofment for them from henceforth. free room and board courtesy of uncle sam, and then onto their 10 bedroom mansion in fillage. what a life. most of them are in that retirement age too
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by EzeUche_(m): 4:07pm On Feb 23, 2011|
I shall claim them anyway. My foolish brothers and sisters in this case are giving my people a bad name. But then again, I see many people in the U.S. defrauding Medicare so this is not new.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by redsun(m): 4:22pm On Feb 23, 2011|
What shame?nigerian government is epitome of shame itself.It is like a case of crooked and evil parents expecting to bring up decent and civil children.
Nigeria system is based on criminality,so any nigerian that turn to crime as a way of going about things shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.Our elites,including our president,senators,statesmen/women are all korokoro criminals and that is what the young ones copy.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by buzugee(m): 4:34pm On Feb 23, 2011|
redsun:i wouldnt quite subscibe to that @ redsun. every man has to embrace and own his own actions. if i bungee jump will you likewise bungee jump because i just did ? if i kill someone will you then go and kill someone too ? i am sure the answer to those 2 questions will be an emphatic 'NO'. so basically you are conveniently choosing what aspect that suits you to imitate. my point being criminals are criminals not because their govts are criminals lets not seek excuses for criminality now.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by redsun(m): 4:55pm On Feb 23, 2011|
Before we start expecting perfect nigerians with perfect reputations,we should clean up our cupboard first as a nation and operate a legitimate system where civility,honesty and hardword are encoraged and honoured,then we can boadly say that some mischivious nigerian citizens are bad for bringing shame to our country.
As it is now,nigeria is an embodiment of everything that is wrong.Corruption is legitimate,thuggery is legitimate,loOting by government officilas is legitimate,election rigging is legitimate,infact even murder by the corrupt rich is legitimate.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by buzugee(m): 5:06pm On Feb 23, 2011|
redsun:i appreciate your sentiments but it does not diminish the fact that criminality is not a communicable disease. let each man bear his own cross.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by redsun(m): 5:09pm On Feb 23, 2011|
Criminality is trasferable.The faith of people without worthy role models is 95 percent doomed.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by buzugee(m): 5:21pm On Feb 23, 2011|
redsun:criminality is not transferable. it needs a host in which to live on and thrive but the host has to lie in bed with criminality before it gets inculcated in the host. its like the AIDS virus. you cant get it by shaking someones hands. you have to make the conscious effort to go to bed with them before it gets inculcated into you. the question is ' do you want to get into bed with criminality' ? its a choice you have to make
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by udezue(m): 5:27pm On Feb 23, 2011|
mchewwww , Like who cares? Medicare fraud is committed by people of different background jare so yeah let them come with crap. Like as if we don't have a list of their people who do shyt like that too.
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by X-factoria: 6:04pm On Feb 23, 2011|
Yes, there will be onslaught!
When Nigerians of Igbo descent win elections in UK, they are Igbos but when they commit crimes, it is convenient to say they are Nigerians, right?? In another thread, they brought out one propaganda that "Igbo shoulders above others, post-independence". Now we know how they have achieved that.
No way! They must bear their father's name - Igbo criminals!
Ezeuche: On a serious note, why are your brothers always in the forefront of global crimes involving black folks?
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by Me_Aboki(m): 6:34pm On Feb 23, 2011|
|Re: Nigerians Arrested In Los Angeles Over Medicare Fraud by PhysicsMHD(m): 7:33pm On Feb 23, 2011|
Ehigie is not an Igbo name. Nor is Oniha. Both of those names are Edo.
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