MEDICAL SUPPLY COMPANY OWNER PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT HEALTH CARE FRAUD AND IMMIGRATION OFFENSES
Defendant, Who Owned Advanced MedEquip & Supplies in Richardson, Texas,
Also Provided False Information in Application for Naturalization
DALLAS — Okey F. Nwagbara, 45, of Plano, Texas, pleaded guilty this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney 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. Nwagbara, who remains in federal custody, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 7, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay.
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 is set for trial on March 5, 2012, before Judge Lindsay.
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.
Each of the three counts carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The immigration case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Identity and Benefit Fraud group and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The health care fraud case is being 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://stopmedicarefraud.gov.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Elliott and Mindy Sauter are in charge of the prosecution.
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