An owner of a Dallas-area home health agency was sentenced 10 years in federal prison for defrauding Medicare, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Cyprian Akamnonu, 64, of Cedar Hill, Texas, was ordered to pay $25,466,779 in restitution, following his guilty plea in October 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
Akamnonu, along with his wife/business partner and also co-defendant, Patricia Akamnonu, co-owned Ultimate Care Home Health Services in the Dallas-area.
The former owner admitted that from January 2006 through November 2011, he conspired with codefendants Dr. Jacques Roy and others to defraud Medicare in connection with the delivery of, and payment for, health care benefits, items and services.
Akamnonu and his wife, according to documents filed in the case, recruited Medicare beneficiaries to Ultimate to receive home health care services for which they did not qualify and did not need.
Akamnonu and others would then approach people throughout the Dallas-area neighborhoods to see if they were qualified Medicare beneficiaries, and if they were, they would attempt to sign them up for home health services.
Once a beneficiary was recruited, Akamnonu would take paperwork to Medistat Group Associates, PA., to be signed on behalf of Dr. Roy. The doctor’s signature certify that the Medicare beneficiary was under Roy’s care, homebound and in need of skilled nursing services, thus allowing Ultimate to bill Medicare for the health care services.
During the five-year period of Ultimate’s escapades, more than 72% of the company’s beneficiaries were certified by Dr. Roy or another Medistat physician acting at his direction.
Ultimate billed more than $40 million to Medicare for skilled nursing services for these beneficiaries, and Roy, in turn, incorporated these patients into his own practice and billed more than $2.3 million for services related to them, notes DOJ.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
Written by Jason Oliva