On Friday, it was announced that the owner and operator of five Houston-area home health agencies had been sentenced to 480 months in prison. 61-year-old Godwin Oriakhi was sentenced to prison for conspiring to defraud Medicare and Medicaid. In total, it was alleged that the defendant had defrauded more than $17 million from both and laundered the money.

In March of this year, Godwin pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and a single count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. According to Oriakhi’s plea, it was concluded that he, his daughter, and other members of his family owned and operated five Houston home health agencies.

  • Aabraham Blessings LLC
  • Baptist Home Care Providers Inc.
  • Community Wide Home Health Inc.
  • Four Seasons Home Healthcare Inc.
  • Kis Med Concepts Inc.

Oriakhi admitted that he and other co-conspirators paid illegal kickback payments to recruiters to obtain patients for his agencies. The defendant admitted that he and other co-conspirators paid Medicare and Medicaid patients so they could utilize their patient numbers to bill the programs for home health and PAS services. Some patients were directly paid for referring other patients to the agencies.

Physicians were also illegally paid kickbacks to refer and certify Medicaid and Medicare patients for home health care and PAS services. Oriakhi admitted that he knew his actions violated federal laws and that Medicare and Medicaid programs would not pay for the claims otherwise. Over the course of the scheme, Oriakhi and his co-conspirators submitted roughly $17,819,456 in fraudulent claims and received more than $16 million on those claims.

Three others have pleaded guilty in the case. Mr. Oriakhi’s daughter, Idia Oriakhi, pleaded guilty along with a registered nurse, Charles Esechie. Both pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiring to commit health care fraud. A patient recruiter, Jermaine Doleman, also pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit health care fraud and launder money. Esechie was sentenced to 60 months in prison. Idia Oriakhi and Jermaine Doleman are currently awaiting sentencing. Doleman is also charged in two other healthcare fraud cases.

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