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June 29, 2009

PHYSICAL THERAPY CLINIC OWNER CHARGED IN HEALTH CARE FRAUD CASE

(HOUSTON) - The owner of a Houston physical therapy clinic charged in connection with an alleged multi-million dollar health care fraud was arrested on Friday, June 26, 2009, and remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing this afternoon, United States Attorney Tim Johnson and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced today.

Umawa Oke Imo, 54, a native of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a Houston resident, was arrested Friday as a result of an arrest warrant which issued following the filing of a criminal complaint charging him with health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

The criminal complaint filed on Thursday, June 25, 2006, alleges Imo, the owner and administrator of City Nursing Services, paid Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries $100 - $150 to sign multiple blank forms indicating they received physical therapy when no such services were actually provided. On several occasions beneficiaries complained to Imo and City Nursing Services about charges for visits that did not occur, and the beneficiaries were offered additional money to remain quiet and not report the events to authorities.    

The investigation leading to the charges is the result of a joint investigation being conducted by agents from the FBI, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Texas Attorney General’s Office, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG).

Health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine upon conviction.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

 

 

 

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