News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Owner of home health care agency is sentenced for
defrauding Medicaid out of more than $650,000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2012


MINNEAPOLIS – Yesterday in federal court in St. Paul, the owner of a home health care
agency was sentenced for defrauding Medicaid and obtaining more than $650,000 through false
billing. United States District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson sentenced John Alemoh Momoh,
age 52, of Brooklyn Park, to 24 months in prison on one count of health care fraud. Momoh was
charged on April 12, 2011, and pleaded guilty on September 29, 2011.

In his plea agreement, Momoh admitted that from May of 2007 through March of 2008, he
submitted false claims billing Medicaid for personal care assistance (“PCA”) services. The
claims were false in multiple ways, including regarding the hours of services provided, the PCA
providing those services, and the type of services provided. In addition, claims lacked required
documentation and were sometimes submitted for services not medically necessary. Momoh also
submitted claims for PCA services provided by an individual who was disqualified from the
program for safety reasons.

The fraudulent claims were made to the Minnesota Department of Human Services
(“DHS”), which administers the federal Medicaid program here in Minnesota. Momoh owned
Hopecare Services, Inc., located in Brooklyn Park. In March of 2007, DHS opened an
investigation into Hopecare’s billing practices after a Medicaid recipient complained about
Momoh’s billing. After reviewing this complaint, DHS twice notified Momoh that he had billed
improperly, both by an agency notice explaining Momoh’s false billing and by meeting with
Momoh in person. Despite these warnings, Momoh continued to fraudulently bill Medicaid,
submitting more than 800 fraudulent claims for PCA services in less than one year.

This case was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services-Office of Inspector General, the FBI, and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the
Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ann M. Bildtsen, David M. Genrich and D. Gerald Wilhelm.

This case continues efforts at combating health care fraud, including health care fraud in the
home health care industry. In April of this year
(http://www.justice.gov/usao/mn/press/apr019.pdf ) owners of several home health care agencies
were indicted on allegations of defrauding Medicaid. Those prosecutions built on prior home
health care cases successfully prosecuted at the federal and state levels.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office participates in a task force with the Medicaid Fraud Control
Unit at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office that focuses on home health care fraud trends.
The task force includes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector
General, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, and other federal, state, and local law
enforcement partners.

As a result of federal convictions for health care fraud, defendants are excluded from
participating in federal health benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. Exclusion
determinations are made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nationwide,
more than 3,000 individuals were excluded from program participation in Fiscal Year 2010
based upon criminal convictions or patient abuse or neglect, license revocations, or other factors.

For more information, visit http://www.stopmedicarefraud.gov/

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