The former co-owner of a Houston-area home health care company was sentenced today in Houston to 108 months in prison for his participation in a $5.2 million Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Clifford Ubani, a former co-owner and chief financial officer at Family
Healthcare Group, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas in the
Southern District of Texas. In addition to his prison term, Ubani was sentenced
to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $4.2 million in
restitution jointly and severally with his co-defendants. In January 2011, Ubani
pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count
of conspiracy to pay illegal kickbacks to patient recruiters, and 16 counts of
paying such illegal kickbacks.
According to court documents and other evidence presented to the court,
Family Healthcare Group, a Houston home health care company, purported to
provide skilled nursing to Medicare beneficiaries. According to court documents
and other evidence, Clifford Ubani paid co-conspirators to recruit Medicare
beneficiaries for the purpose of Family Healthcare Group filing claims with
Medicare for skilled nursing that was medically unnecessary or not provided.
Ubani’s co-conspirators would then falsify documents to support the fraudulent
payments from Medicare. Ubani also paid co-conspirators to sign fraudulent plans
of care stating that the beneficiaries needed home health care when, in fact,
they knew the beneficiaries were not home-bound and not in need of skilled
Ubani is the eighth defendant sentenced in connection with this scheme. Two
other defendants, co-owner Princewill Njoku and patient recruiter Cynthia Garza
Williams, await sentencing.
The sentences were announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of
the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of
the Southern District of Texas; Special Agent in Charge Stephen L. Morris of the
FBI’s Houston Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Mike Fields of the Dallas
Regional Office of HHS’s Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG); and the
Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OAG-MFCU).
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Charles D. Reed and Deputy
Chief Sam S. Sheldon of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The case was
investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG, Texas OAG-MFCU, and the Federal Railroad
Retirement Board-OIG and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force,
supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s
Office for the Southern District of Texas.
Since their inception in March 2007, Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations
in nine locations have charged more than 1,330 defendants who collectively have
falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $4 billion. In addition, the
HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the
HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence
of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action
Team (HEAT), go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.
As an American, I have witnessed many events in our nation's history. Some of them great like placing a man on the moon. Some of them were dark and shameful events. No matter what happened, it is the people that make this nation great. Each looking to the future with optimism and looking to improve this nation for all. The United States is a great and wonderful nation and her people are her best asset. As Americans, we need to stand together and let our voices be heard.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Co-Owner of Houston-Area Home Health Care Agency Sentenced to 108 Months in Prison for Role in $5 Million Medicare Fraud
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