Friday, April 20, 2012

Corruption: Two charged for roles in $45 million health care fraud conspiracy.

U.S. Attorney’s Office 
Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON—Floyd Leslie Brooks, 45, Gwendolyn Kay Frank, 43, both of Houston, have been charged with conspiracy to violation the Anti-Kickback Statue, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The charges are in relation to the massive health care fraud conspiracy that billed the Medicare and Medicaid programs for more than $45 million.

Brooks and Frank are among the growing list of individuals to be charged in the Houston-based City Nursing health care fraud conspiracy and the first to be charged with violating the Anti-Kickback Statute by referring individuals for payment. The respective criminal informations were filed just minutes ago. They are expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge sometime next week.

Umawa Oke Imo, the owner of City Nursing, was convicted in May 2011 and sentenced to more than 27 years in federal prison for his role in the City Nursing conspiracy.

Brooks and Frank are alleged to have referred Medicare beneficiaries to City Nursing between January 2007 and June 2009. Each criminal information alleges City Nursing billed Medicare and Medicaid for more than $1 million worth of physical therapy on the beneficiaries referred by Brooks and Frank. City Nursing received approximately $790,460 in payment for those services from Medicare and Medicaid. According to the criminal informations, Imo allegedly paid Brooks approximately $13,700 and Frank approximately $24,500 for referring the beneficiaries to City Nursing.

The possible punishment for conviction of conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute is up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The investigation is being conducted by agents of the FBI, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, and the Texas Attorney General’s Office-Medicare Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting the case.

A criminal information is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.