Today, August 10, 2017, a federal jury convicted a registered nurse for her role in a $20 million Medicare fraud scheme. The nurse owned two home health companies in Houston, Texas. The scheme involved fraudulent claims for home health services. The trial lasted for four days and ended in convictions on five counts.

Evelyn Mokwuah of Pearland, Texas was convicted of a single count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and four counts of health care fraud for activities at Criseven Health Management Corporation and Beechwood Home Health. The 52-year-old is scheduled to be sentenced on October the 6th before U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller.

The evidence presented in the trial detailed the scheme carried out by Mokwuah and others from 2008 to 2016. The convicted worked with others to defraud Medicare of approximately $20 million in fraudulent claims for home health services at Criseven and Beechwood. Some of the services were not provided, while others were not medically necessary.

The evidence suggested that Mokwuah had billed Medicare for patients who were not homebound or did not quality for home health services. Simultaneously, Mokwuah and others produced fraudulent documents to present patients as homebound when they were not. The defendant enlisted the aid of patient recruiters to enroll Medicare beneficiaries to Criseven and Beechwood.

Mokwauh also paid doctors to sign off on the falsified plans for care for these patients. In return, this allowed Beechwood and Criseven to bill Medicare for the services. On May the 24th, co-defendant Amara Oparanozie pleaded guilty to conspiring with the defendant and others to commit health care fraud. The 47-year-old from Richmond, Texas is currently awaiting sentencing.

The FBI and HHS-OIG were responsible for investigating the case. The case is prosecuted by Scott Armstrong and Kevin Lowell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.