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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Hawaii

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Oahu Physical Therapist Pleads Guilty To Health Care Fraud

HONOLULU – Garrett Okubo, of Honolulu, Hawaii, pled guilty today in federal court to four counts of health care fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347.

According to court documents and information presented in court, Okubo was the owner and operator of a physical therapy business in Honolulu. From January 2011 through October 2017, Okubo submitted false claims for payment for physical therapy services to TRICARE, Medicare, Medicaid, and HMSA. Okubo submitted claims to these health care benefit programs using his unique provider number, thereby falsely stating that Okubo himself had personally provided the physical therapy services to his patients, when in reality the services were provided by Okubo’s unlicensed staff members, including at times when Okubo was travelling on the U.S. mainland or in a foreign country. The government alleges that Okubo billed approximately $5.5 million of false claims for services provided by his unlicensed staff members, of which approximately $3.7 million was actually paid. Okubo reserved the right to challenge the loss amount in his plea agreement.

Okubo’s sentencing is scheduled for August 6, 2018 before U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright. For each count, Okubo faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a period of supervised release of up to three years. Okubo agreed to pay restitution, and agreed to forfeit the proceeds of his unlawful activity, in amounts to be determined by the Court.

The case was jointly investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; and the State of Hawaii, Department of the Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit; and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marc A. Wallenstein.

Topic(s): 
Health Care Fraud
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Amalia Fenton amalia.fenton@usdoj.gov
Updated April 18, 2018