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|Six Nigerians Indicted In Usa For $30 Million Medicare Fraudulent Billing by Imeobong(m): 1:19pm On Feb 27, 2011|
Department of Justice Press Release
For Immediate Release
February 17, 2011
United States Attorney's Office
Central District of California
Contact: (213) 894-2434
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-surrendered 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.
|Re: Six Nigerians Indicted In Usa For $30 Million Medicare Fraudulent Billing by Imeobong(m): 1:23pm On Feb 27, 2011|
Its like this guys are mostly Igbo, no offence please
|Re: Six Nigerians Indicted In Usa For $30 Million Medicare Fraudulent Billing by Busybody2(f): 1:55pm On Feb 27, 2011|
Wow, gereatrics Nigerian criminals too, hmmm.
|Re: Six Nigerians Indicted In Usa For $30 Million Medicare Fraudulent Billing by againstGEJ(m): 2:39pm On Feb 27, 2011|
|Re: Six Nigerians Indicted In Usa For $30 Million Medicare Fraudulent Billing by Imeobong(m): 3:26pm On Feb 28, 2011|
Another Igbo guy jailed, Na wahoo, ooo!!!
[center]Wire fraud: Nigerian jailed nine years in US[/center]
A United States District Court in Charlotte, North Carolina has sentenced a Nigerian, Ugochukwu Enwerem, aka Joseph Smith, to nine years imprisonment on one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and 14 counts of wire fraud.
The US Justice Department said in a statement posted on its website on Sunday said District Judge Graham Mullen also ordered Enwerem to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term. In addition, Enwerem was ordered to forfeit $9,453,815 (N1,447,804,538.57) and to pay restitution in the same amount, jointly and severally with fellow Nigerian and co-defendant, Kent Okojie.
Enwerem was found guilty in March 2010 by a federal jury in the Western District of North Carolina on the 15 counts, the statement said. In September 2009, his co-accused pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud and was sentenced to 72 months in prison in November.
Okojie and Enwerem, who resided in the Netherlands, were originally charged in a June 2007 complaint.
They were subsequently extradited to the US from The Netherlands, where they had been in custody on Dutch charges.
The statement also contained excerpts from court documents.
It said, “Evidence at trial showed that between at least August 25, 2004 and April 23, 2007, Enwerem and his co-conspirators solicited individuals in the United States, Europe and Australia by sending spam e-mails informing potential victims that they had either won a foreign lottery, inherited a large sum of money from a long lost relative, or were eligible to recover outstanding construction contract payments.
“When individuals responded to the e-mails, the defendants, posing as lawyers, bankers and European government officials, solicited fees from victims ostensibly to pay for things such as ‘anti-terrorism certificates’, ‘EU bank clearances’, ‘anti-money laundering certificates’, and legal fees in order to secure their purported lotto winnings, inheritance or contract payments.”
The US Justice Department stated that Enwerem and Okojie instructed American victims “to wire funds, using Western Union and other money transfer services, to them and their designees in The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
“According to trial testimony, at least 18 US and international victims were defrauded of more than $9.5m during the period when Enwerem was a member of the conspiracy.”
|Re: Six Nigerians Indicted In Usa For $30 Million Medicare Fraudulent Billing by Pennywise(m): 3:29pm On Feb 28, 2011|
And yorubas are doing exploit in London. You wonder if there is some kind of understanding b/w the two
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