Owners, Nurses Indicted for $13 Million Home Health Fraud

The co-owners of a Dallas home health agency and two nurses the agency employed were charged in a Dec. 21 indictment for allegedly defrauding Medicare out of more than $13.4 million.

Usani Ewah, Patience Okoroji, Kingsley Nwanguma and Joy Ogwuegbu were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Additionally, Ewah and Okoroji were both charged with five counts of health care fraud.

Ogwuegbu, meanwhile, has been charged with four counts of health care fraud, and Nwanguma has been charged with three counts of health care fraud.

Ewah and Okoroji co-owned Timely Home Health Services Inc., where Ewah worked as the director of nursing and a registered nurse and Okoroji served as an administrator and licensed vocational nurse. Ogwuegbu was a registered nurse at the agency, and Nwanguma was a licensed vocational nurse there.

The indictment claims that from about January 2007 to September 2015, the defendants schemed to defraud Medicare by causing the submission and concealment of fraudulent and false claims to the program. In some cases, Okoroji and Ewah would pay recruiters, including Nwanguma, to recruit beneficiaries for home health services, without regard to whether the beneficiaries required home health care. Ewah, Okoroji and Ogwuegbu reportedly prepared or caused to be prepared fraudulent Medicare documents that made it seem as though the beneficiaries qualified for home health services. Then, physicians used the documents to certify Medicare beneficiaries for home health care.

During the scheme, Okoroji and Ewah billed Medicare approximately $13,434,550 based on false and fraudulent claims for home health services, the indictment alleges.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson