AUSTIN – Investigative work by the decorated Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office helped federal prosecutors obtain convictions and prison sentences in two home health care fraud cases against five individuals who cheated Medicaid and Medicare out of nearly $4.5 million.
“By billing Medicare and Medicaid for services never provided, these individuals and their companies diverted healthcare dollars from the most vulnerable among us and defrauded taxpayers,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Through effective collaboration with our federal law enforcement partners, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of my office will continue to investigate health care fraud schemes and help bring these criminals to justice.”
Andres Aly Alvarez, the owner of A&C Medical Supply LLC in Mission, Texas, pleaded guilty to health care fraud and aggravated identity theft for stealing around $930,276 from Medicaid. Alvarez was sentenced April 25 to two-and-a-half years in prison and ordered to pay full restitution. Attorney General Paxton’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit worked jointly with the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General on the case, which was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in McAllen.
Following a six-day trial, a jury convicted four individuals with Garland-based Elder Care Home Health Services LLC for defrauding Medicaid and Medicare of more than $3.5 million:
Owner Loveth Isidaehomen was sentenced on April 23 to 97 months in prison.
Tutu Kudiratu Etti, the company’s director of nursing, received a sentence of 85 months in prison on April 25.
Co-owner Celestine Tony Okwilagwe was sentenced on April 19 to 188 months in prison, to be followed by immediate deportation to Nigeria.
Employee Paul Azuka Emordi was sentenced to 60 months in prison on April 2.
The four co-conspirators were ordered to jointly pay $3,559,154 in restitution. The attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit participated in a joint strike force investigation with law enforcement partners from the FBI in Fort Worth and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Dallas prosecuted the case.
During fiscal year 2018, Attorney General Paxton’s Medicaid Control Fraud Unit obtained 82 indictments, 69 convictions, and court-ordered restitution of over $139 million. Last year, the unit received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s top award of excellence in fighting fraud, waste and abuse – the number one award from 50 Medicaid fraud control units nationwide.