Attorney General Paxton’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit successfully secured a conviction against Patrick Osemwengie, of Richmond, Texas, in a Houston federal court. Osemwengie played a supporting role as part of a larger home health conspiracy that resulted in $17.7 million in fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid billings.
“The outstanding efforts of our dedicated Medicaid Fraud team have once again ensured that those who exploit our healthcare system for personal gain are brought to justice,” said Attorney General Paxton. “My office is committed to aggressively pursuing those who engage in healthcare fraud, safeguarding taxpayer funds, and preserving the integrity of vital healthcare programs.”
Osemwengie illegally sold patient referrals to Grace Healthcare and Ebra Home Health Services, whose owners pleaded guilty to charges stemming from this investigation. Osemwengie charged $500 for new patients and $250 for recertifications. The home health providers then billed Medicare and Medicaid for home health services that were never provided. Several recipients have confirmed that Osemwengie paid them kickbacks to sign up for home health services. Other recipients were prevented from receiving genuinely needed home health services because of the scheme.
A federal jury deliberated for 15 minutes following a two-day trial before finding Osemwengie guilty of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks.
The investigation was conducted by Sergeant Joyce Combest, Investigative Auditor Shen Wang, and Captain Rick McCollum of Paxton’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, in cooperation with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General and the FBI. Assistant Attorney General Abdul Farukhi, who also serves as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuted the case along with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christian Latham, James Hu, and Justin Martin.