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Press Release

Houston man convicted in $6M bribery scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A federal jury has returned a guilty verdict against a 54-year-old man for one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks and two counts of payment of kickbacks to marketers, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

The jury deliberated for an hour following a three-day trial before finding Ifeanyi Ozoh guilty on all counts as charged.

Ozoh worked at a local dental clinic known as Floss Family Dentalcare Center from January 2020 to February 2021.

At trial, the jury heard how Ozoh paid marketers $20 to $100 for each Medicaid-insured child referred to Floss. The marketers testified that Ozoh secretly paid them in cash and out of sight of other witnesses, sometimes putting their illegal kickback payments on top of a vending machine down the hall from the clinic.

One clinic manager testified that she repeatedly warned Ozoh that paying marketers was illegal.

The jury also heard that Ozoh paid out over $163,000 in bribes to marketers and received bonuses for reaching a quota of patients.

From 2020 to 2021, Floss billed Medicaid over $6 million. Floss received over $4 million on those claims, most of which were predicated on a kickback paid to marketers and for dental services that were not provided.

During the trial, a representative testified that Medicaid prohibits the payment of kickbacks for referrals of medical services.

The defense attempted to convince the jury that Ozoh was only a “handyman” and was not aware that his actions were illegal. The jury ultimately did not believe those claims and found him guilty as charged.

U.S. District Chief Judge Randy Crane presided over the trial and set sentencing for May 21. At that time, Ozoh faces up to 25 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

FBI, Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Olson and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Valenti are prosecuting the case.

Updated February 14, 2024

Health Care Fraud