DALLAS—Attorney General Loretta E Lynch and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced today a nationwide sweep led by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in 17 districts, resulting in charges against 243 individuals, including 46 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $712 million in false billings. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also suspended a number of providers using its suspension authority as provided in the Affordable Care Act. This coordinated takedown is the largest in Strike Force history, both in terms of the number of defendants charged and loss amount. “This action represents the largest criminal health care fraud takedown in the history of the Department of Justice, and it adds to an already remarkable record of enforcement,” said Attorney General Lynch.
“The defendants charged include doctors, patient recruiters, home health care providers, pharmacy owners, and others. They billed for equipment that wasn’t provided, for care that wasn’t needed, and for services that weren’t rendered. In the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue our focus on preventing wrongdoing and prosecuting those whose criminal activity drives up medical costs and jeopardizes a system that our citizens trust with their lives. We are prepared – and I am personally determined – to continue working with our federal, state, and local partners to bring about the vital progress that all Americans deserve.” Acting United States Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas announced that as part of the nationwide takedown, seven individuals, including two physicians and one registered nurse, were indicted in the district.
“This district will continue to focus all the tools and resources of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force on those who cheat not only Medicare and Medicaid, but all taxpayers and vulnerable patients as well,” said Acting United States Attorney Parker. “When these schemes are uncovered, and they will be, this office will not hesitate to bring indictments, such as the two that were unsealed this week in Dallas, against those who defraud these essential health care programs.” One indictment charges each of the below-listed defendants with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud: Noble U Ezukanma, 56, of Fort Worth, Texas Myrna S Parcon, a/k/a “Merna Parcon,” 62, of Dallas, Texas Lita S Dejesus, 70, of Allen, Texas Oliva A Padilla, 57, of Garland, Texas Ben P Gaines, 55, of Plano, Texas These five defendants were arrested on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Each made their initial appearance in federal court and was released on bond. A sixth defendant is expected to surrender to federal authorities tomorrow in Dallas.
Defendants Ezukanma, Parcon, and Dejesus owned/operated United States Physician Home Visits (USPHV), a/k/a “Healthcare Liaison Professionals, Inc.” located on Viceroy Drive in Dallas. Parcon was the owner/manager and Ezukanma was a licensed medical doctor who had an ownership interest in USPHV. Both Ezukanma and another physician provided their Medicare number to the company to use to submit Medicare claims. Dejesus served in various roles at USPHV, including overseeing Medicare billing.