Three Sentenced to Prison for $3 Million Medicaid Fraud

Three home health agency employees in Ohio have been sentenced to prison for their role in defrauding Medicaid out of $3 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The men—43-year-old George Epps, 51-year-old Abdulazis Warsame and 51-year-old Amir Ahmed—worked for Cleveland-based home health care agency Lifeline Home Health Services.

Between 2009 and 2013, Epps, Warsame, Ahmed and others submitted false documentation to become an accredited home health care provider, fabricated and billed for home health visits that had not occurred, and forged documents to make it seem as though physicians had approved specific plans of care, the DOJ said.

To recruit patients to Lifeline, Ahmed also offered them cash kickbacks.

Collectively, Epps, Warsame and Ahmed received payment for over $3 million in fraudulent claims, DOJ said, citing court documents. The defendants had previously pleaded guilty to the charges, according to Cleveland.com.

The defendants were ordered to pay restitution by U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson in Youngstown, Ohio. Epps, Warsame and Ahmed also forfeited over $400,000.

A fourth defendant, Norma Lauer, pleaded guilty to her role and was sentenced to probation in September. Yasin Warsame, another defendant, is scheduled to be sentenced for her role in the conspiracy in May 2017, Cleveland.com reported.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson