Owner of Durable Medical Equipment Company Indicted For Health Care Fraud and Related Offenses
Defendant Accused of Billing D.C. Medicaid for Supplies That Were Not Provided
WASHINGTON – Emeka H. Chijioke, 40, formerly of Atlanta, Ga., and Nigeria, has been indicted on charges alleging that he schemed to defraud the District of Columbia’s Medicaid program out of more than $2 million.
The indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, Andrew Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Nicholas DiGiulio, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), for the region that includes Washington, D.C.
The indictment was unsealed on April 7, 2017, and Chijioke pled not guilty at his arraignment last week. A status hearing in the case has been set for April 19 before the Honorable Senior Judge Paul L. Friedman.
Chijioke was arrested in December 2016 in Germany and extradited to the United States last week. The 21-count indictment charges him with one count of health care fraud, nine counts of making false statements related to health care matters, seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of engaging in a monetary transaction with proceeds of specified unlawful activity in an amount greater than $10,000, and one count of first-degree theft. The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation seeking all proceeds that can be traced to the fraud scheme.
According to the indictment, Chijioke was the majority owner, registered agent, and chief executive officer of Mead Medical Group, LLC, a durable medical equipment company organized in Maryland. Mead Medical provided medical equipment supplies, including incontinence supplies and garments, to District of Columbia Medicaid recipients.
As alleged in the indictment, from 2008 through 2012, Chijioke engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicaid out of more than $2 million and unjustly enriched himself by billing Medicaid for incontinence supplies that were not provided. The indictment alleges that Chijioke used some of the proceeds from his fraudulent scheme to purchase vehicles. According to the indictment, Chijioke instructed his office staff to contact the Medicaid recipients to determine from them the actual amount of incontinence supplies they needed, and to provide them with those supplies. At the same time, the indictment alleges, Chijioke hired a billing company to submit claims to the Medicaid contractor as if the maximum amount of supplies were provided to the recipients rather than the actual amount supplied. By arranging for the maximum amount of incontinence supplies to be billed, rather than the amount actually provided, Chijioke obtained money which he was not entitled to receive from Medicaid.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
In announcing the charges, U.S. Attorney Phillips, Assistant Director in Charge Vale, and Special Agent in Charge DiGiulio expressed appreciation for the work performed by Special Agents from the FBI and HHS OIG. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who are working on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Lucas of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section; Assistant U.S. Attorney Kondi Kleinman of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section; former Assistant U.S. Attorney Lionel André; Paralegal Specialists Christopher Toms and Jessica Mundi; former Paralegal Specialists Corinne Kleinman and Kaitlyn Kruger, and Litigation Technology Specialist Claudia Gutierrez. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Cheatham, who investigated the case and obtained the indictment.