Two Illinois home health care company owners were sentenced yesterday as part of a $6.7 million home health care fraud scheme.
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.
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.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Mario M. Pinto of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Chicago Regional Office; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Ashley T. Johnson of the FBI Chicago Field Office made the announcement.
The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Sarah W. Rocha, Victor B. Yanz, and Claire T. Sobczak of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Mott for the Northern District of Illinois prosecuted the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Criminal Division’s efforts to combat health care fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program. Since March 2007, this program, comprised of 15 strike forces operating in 24 federal districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for more than $19 billion. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, are taking steps to hold providers accountable for their involvement in health care fraud schemes. More information can be found at https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/health-care-fraud-unit.