Two Nigerians resident in the United States have been jailed over a $6.7m healthcare fraud.
Patricia Omorogbe and Felix Omorogbe were sentenced to two years and one and half years imprisonment respectively.
A statement released on Friday by the US Department of Justice, DOJ, said 61-year-old Patricia and Felix, 71, were also ordered by the court to pay $6,643,094 and $1,592,362 respectively. That equals to $8,235,456.
Although the statement did not say whether Patricia and Felix are a couple, it stated they both live in Lansing, Michigan and are home healthcare company owners.
The statement reads: “Patricia Omorogbe, 61, of Lansing, a registered nurse, was sentenced to two years in prison. Felix Omorogbe, 71, of Lansing, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Patricia Omorogbe was also ordered to pay $6,643,094 in restitution. Felix Omorogbe was ordered to pay $1,592,362 in restitution.
“According to court documents, the Omorogbes owned and operated three home health companies: A&Z Home Health Care and Dominion Home Health Care, both located in Lansing, and Alliance Home Health Care, located in Hammond, Indiana.
“From approximately January 2009 to June 2018, the Omorogbes secretly paid bribes and kickbacks to patient marketers in exchange for referrals of Medicare beneficiaries to the companies.”
The statement added that Patricia and Felix were indicted for signing fake deals with marketers and facilitating bribery and other fraudulent activities in the name of the company.
“Patricia Omorogbe maintained relationships with marketers and signed sham contracts with patient marketers on behalf of the companies, while Felix Omorogbe facilitated kickback payments to marketers by writing checks to himself and agency employees, who would then convert the checks to cash that was used to pay kickbacks to marketers.
“Patricia Omorogbe caused fraudulent claims to be submitted to Medicare for home health services that falsely represented that she, as a registered nurse, performed assessments of patients on dates when she was out of the country.
“It was the practice of the Omorogbes’ companies to admit, discharge, and re-certify certain patients repeatedly, regardless of their medical conditions.”