Registered Nurse Convicted in $8 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

The defendant created false medical records to make it appear as if she provided nursing services when, in fact, she did noT

Registered Nurse Convicted in $8 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
Image: Pixabay
July 20, 2016

A registered nurse in Texas has been convicted by a federal jury of participating in an $8 million Medicare fraud scheme involving fraudulent claims for home-health services.

Ann Anyanwu was convicted on three counts relating to her involvement in a scheme to defraud Medicare following a jury trial before U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett of the Southern District of Texas.

According to the evidence presented at trial—from January 2012 through June 2015—Anyanwu and others executed a scheme to submit approximately $8 million in false and fraudulent claims for home-health services to Medicare through Medpsych Home Health Care (Medpsych). The evidence showed that beneficiaries for whom Medpsych billed Medicare did not receive home-health services, and many did not even qualify for home-health services.

The evidence also showed that Anyanwu created false medical records for nursing services and falsified other records of Medpsych to make it appear as if she provided nursing services when, in fact, she did not.

Anyanwu is scheduled to be sentenced on September 8, 2016.

To date, two other individuals have been charged for their roles in the scheme. Precious Deshield—the former owner, director of nursing, and administrator of Medpsych—pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud for her role in the scheme. Roland Johnson, the owner and operator of Medpsych, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Deshield and Johnson are currently awaiting sentencing.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and the Texas Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) investigated this case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force—which works to harness data analytics and the combined resources of Federal, State, and local law enforcement entities to prevent and combat health care fraud, waste, and abuse.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 2,900 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $8.9 billion. In addition, HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.