Federal prosecutors obtained a jury conviction of two North Texas home health owners who stole over $3.7 million from Medicare and Medicaid.
A joint investigation with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Texas attorney general’s office brought Celestine “Tony” Okwilagwe, Tutu Kudiaratu Etti, Loveth Isidaehomen and Paul Emordi to a six-day trial where they were convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
The investigation showed that Okwilagwe and Emordi, who owned and operated Garland-based Elder Care, had been previously barred from participating in healthcare benefit program. Etti and Isidaehomen, Okwilagwe’s wife, falsified ownership documents to hide the identity of the true owners. The four defendants were also accused of submitting fraudulent bills for unnecessary services.
“Health care fraud diverts critical resources away from citizens who truly need those services,” said Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Division Chief Stormy Kelly via release. “The Texas attorney general’s office will continue to aggressively investigate these cases and work with our state and federal partners to ensure those who commit Medicaid and Medicare fraud are prosecuted.”
Sentencing has not yet begun.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit received U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General award of excellence for their work exposing fraud, and obtained 108 indictments, 137 convictions and recovered more than $534 million in lost funding, which led the nation in fiscal year 2017.