Tuesday, March 13, 2007

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Attorney General Abbott's Investigators Arrest Houston Man for Medicaid Fraud

HOUSTON Investigators with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit arrested the owner of two Houston-based rehabilitation centers Thursday for defrauding the state Medicaid system of more than $200,000.

A Harris County grand jury last week indicted Emeke Agboh, 37, owner of Genesis Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center and Shiloh Mental Health Services, on two counts of felony aggregate theft by a government contractor. According to the charges, Agboh fraudulently billed Medicaid for mental health counseling and chemical dependency treatments that were never provided.

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Emeke Agboh
Emeke Agboh

"Texans will not tolerate criminals who defraud the taxpayers," Attorney General Abbott said. "The Medicaid program is designed to provide healthcare to Texans who cannot afford it. When criminals make fraudulent Medicaid claims, they are stealing from the taxpayers and breaking the law. Thanks to an outstanding joint effort by our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, a scam that harmed Medicaid recipients and wasted taxpayer dollars has been shut down."

Investigators with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit arrested Agboh on March 8 in Tomball following his indictment a day earlier. According to evidence gathered by Medicaid Fraud investigators, Agboh used Genesis Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center from July 2004 through October 2004 to bill Medicaid more than $91,000 for undelivered drug treatment services. Evidence also indicated that from June 2005 through April 2006, Agboh used Shiloh Mental Health Services to bilk more than $132,000 from Medicaid for mental health counseling sessions that were not provided.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Kaylynn Williford will prosecute the case.

In 2005 alone, the costs of the Medicaid program in Texas totaled more than $17 billion. As the state’s chief law enforcement official, Attorney General Abbott has dramatically expanded the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) to save more taxpayer dollars and increase protection for Texas seniors. The Unit has established field offices in Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, San Antonio and Tyler through authorization and funding from the 77th Texas Legislature. Attorney General Abbott’s MFCU works with federal, state and local agencies to identify and prosecute those who defraud Medicaid.

The MFCU was honored in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the Inspector General’s State Fraud Award for effectiveness and efficiency during federal fiscal year 2003 in combating fraud, patient abuse and neglect in the Medicaid program.

To obtain more information about the Attorney General’s efforts to fight Medicaid fraud, access the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.