Jury Convicts Houston Registered Nurse in $8 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
A registered nurse was convicted today by a federal jury in the Southern District of Texas for participating in an $8 million Medicare fraud scheme involving fraudulent claims for home-health services.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI’s Houston Field Office, Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter of the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Houston Regional Office and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) made the announcement.
Ann Anyanwu, 53, of Harris County, Texas, was convicted of three counts of a scheme to defraud Medicare following a jury trial before U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett of the Southern District of Texas. Anyanwu is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 8, 2016.
According to the evidence presented at trial, from January 2012 through June 2015, Anyanwu and others executed a scheme to submit through Medpsych Home Health Care (Medpsych) approximately $8 million in false and fraudulent claims for home-health services to Medicare. The evidence showed that beneficiaries for whom Medpsych billed Medicare did not receive home-health services, and many did not qualify for home-health services.
In addition, the evidence showed that Anyanwu created false medical records for nursing services – treatment that she never provided – and falsified other records of Medpsych to make it appear as if she provided nursing services when, in fact, she did not.
To date, two others have been charged for their roles in the scheme. Precious Deshield, the former owner, director of nursing and administrator of Medpsych, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud for her role in the scheme. Roland Johnson, the owner and operator of Medpsych, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Deshield and Johnson currently await sentencing before Judge Bennett.
The FBI, HHS-OIG and Texas MFCU investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas. Trial Attorneys William S.W. Chang and Scott P. Armstrong of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 2,900 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $8.9 billion. In addition, HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.