Ken Paxton

AG Paxton: Medicare Manipulation Fraud Busted in Houston

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 – Austin

Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today that a former Medicare provider, Chimaroke Echenwune, has been convicted of conducting fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid programs, attempting to steal more than $1.3 million through illegal practices.

Echenwune worked with his wife and 13 EMTs to manipulate health care programs through Diamex EMS, his ambulance company. Mentally handicapped patients were billed for transports to hospitals when they were being taken to adult daycare facilities, destinations not covered by Medicare. Several patients’ caretakers testified that their clients were never transported by the company at all. Some individuals were billed up to three times the original cost of the ambulance service.

Additionally, two co-defendants testified that they were instructed by Echenwune to falsify entries in patient records kept by Echenwune, and a doctor testified that his signature appeared forged on a medical authorization form. After facing trial, Echenwune was sentenced to serve 30 years with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and to pay a $10,000 fine.

The state of Texas was represented by Assistant Attorney General Stan Clark, who worked with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and an attorney from the Texas Department of Insurance to prosecute all persons involved in fraudulent activities within Diamex EMS. The investigation was initiated by Health Integrity LLC, a private federal contractor specializing in medical claims audits and data analytics for Medicare and Medicaid. The investigation was conducted by the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in Houston.

To view the judgement, click here: