Husband and wife sent to prison for $8M health care fraud
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
HOUSTON – Two Missouri City home health agency owners have been ordered to federal prison after admitting to defrauding millions from Medicare, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Vincent Nwabeke, 72, pleaded guilty April 20 to false statements in a health care matter, while Victoria Nwabeke, 70, admitted to conspiracy to commit health care fraud Sept. 16, 2019.
U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett has now ordered Victoria Nwabeke to serve 48 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. She must also pay $8,523,917.11 in restitution to Medicare. Vincent Nwabeke was previously sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment and ordered to pay $1,084,996 in restitution to Medicare.
The Nwabekes co-owned Vital Ambulatory Healthcare Inc. from 2012 to 2018, Victoria Nwabeke obtained patient referrals by paying kickbacks to marketers and patients and bribing physicians to authorize medically unnecessary home health services for Vital patients. She also admitted to billing Medicare over $8 million in fraudulent claims for home health services.
Vincent Nwabeke was Vital’s Chief Financial Officer. He admitted that in 2018 he filed a fraudulent cost report to Medicare attempting to disguise the kickback payments his wife made as legitimate business expenses.
The Nwabekes were permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI, Department of Health and Human Services‐Office of Inspector General and Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit conducted the investigation. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Olson and DOJ Trial Attorney Drew Pennebaker are prosecuting the case.
Updated October 5, 2023
Health Care Fraud