Owners Sentenced in Dallas $1.3 Million in Home Health Care Fraud Scheme

Owners of Dallas-based home health agency Alliance Healthcare Services, L.P. were sentenced last week for their roles in a nearly $1.3 million health care fraud conspiracy.

From November 2008 through mid-February 2011, Alliance submitted claims to Medicare for home health services provided to Medicare beneficiaries, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Alliance employees, including the owners, falsified Medicare documentation, indicating that patients were homebound and eligible for home health care services, when in fact, the majority of Alliance patients were ineligible because they were not homebound.

The company also falsified time sheets and patient visit logs for services that were not adequately provided, and then billed Medicare as if the services had been administered.

George Opurum, 62, and his wife, Agatha Opurum, 55, were each sentenced to 37 months in federal prison. They were ordered to submit to the Bureau of Prisons on March 27, 2013.

George Opurum was the chief financial officer and alternate administrator of Alliance. Edith Opurum was the director of nursing at Alliance.

Natives of Richardson, Texas, the Opurums did not act alone in the health care scheme.

Co-conspirators and Wylie, Texas residents Ernest and Edith Amadi also plead guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Ernest, 55, was Alliance’s chief executive officer, and his wife Edith, 52, was a nurse for the agency.

Edith Amadi received a similar sentence as the Opurums, 37 months in federal prison. A sentencing date for her husband, Ernest, has not been set.

Another co-conspirator in the case, Ollie Futrell, 57, of Garland, Texas, pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy and is currently serving a 33-month federal prison sentence.

The five defendants in the case billed a total of $1,296,357, according to DOJ, and were ordered to pay a restitution amount of $853,702.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG), and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Written by Jason Oliva