Houston woman sentenced to 15 years for $20m medicare fraud

Egondu ‘Kate’ Koko of Houston was sentenced to 188 months in prison for her role in a $20 million medicare fraud. Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas also ordered her to pay $12.9 million in restitution and forfeit $1.4 million. Ms Koko pleaded guilty in October 2018.

Ms Koko was a patient recruiter for Criseven Health Management, Beechwood Home Health, JMM Home Health and Trinity Healthcare Services, all home health agencies in the Houston area. She admitted that she paid illegal kickbacks and bribes to physicians and patients for paperwork necessary for the agencies to bill Medicare. Koko and her co-conspirators were paid more than $9.5 million, out of the $25 million in claims submitted to Medicare.

The scheme ran from January 2010 to January 2018.

Ms Koko also admitted that she opened an account under the identity of a relative, a Nigerian national. She then transferred funds to that account and used the proceeds to buy a 5,500 sq ft house in Missouri City.

Last month I wrote about Evelyn Mokwuah, one of Ms Koko’s co-conspirators. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She was the Director of Nursing and Administration for Criseven and Beechwood. The two businesses were in adjoining suites in an office building in the Sharpstown area of Houston.

The other co-conspirator was Dorothy Akobundu. She was the Director of Nursing and Administration for JMM and Trinity, based in Stafford,TX. Ms Akobundu has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in August.


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