HOME HEALTH CARE COMPANY OWNER IN DALLAS SENTENCED TO NEARLY FOUR YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
Defendant Paid Patients for Medicare Information Used in Billing $1.8 Million to Medicare
DALLAS — Florence Onyegbu, 51, of Flower Mound, Texas, the owner of a home health company that operated in Dallas, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey to 46 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $1.3 million in restitution, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Onyegbu will forfeit that amount as proceeds of the health care fraud. She must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons by April 4, 2011.
According to documents filed in the case, in September 2010, Onyegbu pleaded guilty to an Information charging one count of offer and payment of illegal remuneration in relation to her home health company, De-Promise Home Health Services, previously located on North Central Expressway in Dallas.
Onyegbu admitted that from January 2008 to July 2010, she paid between approximately $100 to $200 per month to multiple beneficiaries in exchange for their Medicare information. She used the patients’ information to falsely bill Medicare approximately $1.8 million for purported home health services, including skilled nursing services, physical therapy, speech-language pathology services, and occupational therapy. Onyegbu admitted that these patients neither qualified for nor needed the treatment. Her false claims to Medicare resulted in payments totaling more than $1.3 million to De-Promise Home Health Services.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General and the FBI.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine Miller, John de la Garza and Walt Junker.
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