United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON
TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2008 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe PHONE: (409) 839-2538
CELL: (409) 553-9881
MEDICAL EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER CONVICTED OF
HEALTH CARE FRAUD
BEAUMONT, TX - United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that a medical equipment supplier has been convicted of health care fraud in the Eastern District of Texas.
FLORENCE UBAK-OFFIONG, 38, of Sugarland, was found guilty by a jury on January 10 of four counts of health care fraud and two counts of paying illegal kickbacks. The two day trial was held before United States District Judge Ron Clark.
According to information presented in court, from April 2002 until April 2004, Ubak-Offiong owned and operated Champion Medical Supplies, a medical supply company based in Sugarland, Texas and having customers throughout the state, including the Eastern District of Texas. During this time she purchased Medicare patient referrals from Emanual Akpan and Veronica Enebong, both of whom owned medical equipment companies. Ubak-Offiong then used this information to bill the patients for medical equipment. While she often supplied the motorized scooters the patients were promised, she fraudulently billed Medicare for the more expensive motorized wheelchairs. At the time Medicare paid approximately $1,200 for motorized scooters and $5,000 for motorized wheelchairs. Additionally, the patients were never prescribed the equipment, and Ubak-Offiong submitted fake prescriptions to Medicare. In total, Ubak-Offiong was paid over $1 million by Medicare and Medicaid.
Ubak-Offiong faces up to 10 years in federal prison for the health care fraud violations and up to 5 years in prison for the kickback violations. A sentencing date has not been set.
The case was jointly investigated by the Texas Attorney General's Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General and prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Tortorice and Assistant United States Attorney Dave Henderson.
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