Medical Supply Company Owner Sentenced to 36 Months in Federal Prison on Health Care Fraud and Immigration Convictions
Judge Also Revokes Defendant’s Citizenship
DALLAS — Okey F. Nwagbara, 45, of Plano, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay to 36 months in federal prison following his guilty pleas in January 2012 to three felony offenses related to his involvement in a health care fraud conspiracy and providing false information to obtain citizenship, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. In addition, at Monday afternoon’s sentencing hearing, Judge Lindsay revoked Nwagbara’s citizenship, cancelled Nwagbara’s Certificate of Naturalization that was issued in January 2008 and ordered that the certificate be immediately surrendered to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).
According to documents filed in the cases, Nwagbara, was the owner and operator of Advanced MedEquip and Supplies, Ltd., a durable medical equipment company located in Richardson, Texas. In pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, Nwagbara admitted that he paid kickbacks to co-conspirator Jerry Bullard, who worked in the durable medical equipment department of Medistat Group Associates, Inc., to direct business to Advanced MedEquip and to sign durable medical equipment orders for Advanced. Medistat is an association of health care providers located in Desoto, Texas. Bullard pleaded guilty in mid-February 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
In pleading guilty to one count of making a false statement in an immigration document and one count of unlawful procurement of naturalization, Nwagbara admitted that he falsely provided information to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services in his application of naturalization. He admitted that his assertion in his naturalization application that he had been living with and married to an individual for three years was false and intentionally misleading and made solely for the purpose of procuring naturalization.
The immigration case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Identity and Benefit Fraud group and U.S. CIS.
The health care fraud case was investigated by the Dallas Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) Strike Force, which includes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General, the FBI and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. To learn more about the HEAT Strike Force, please visit: http://www.stopmedicarefraud.gov/.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Elliott and Mindy Sauter prosecuted.
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