Monday, April 14, 2008

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Former Drug Treatment Clinic Owner Sentenced to Five Years for Defrauding Medicaid

HOUSTON – Following a two-month investigation, the former owner of two Houston-area chemical dependency treatment clinics has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to repay $200,000 he stole from the Medicaid program.

Emeke Agboh, 39, of Sugar Land, was convicted of theft by a governmental contractor after an investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit revealed that Medicaid reimbursed him for drug- and alcohol-related treatment sessions he never performed.

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Emeke  Agboh
Emeke Agboh

The conviction applies to funds stolen through false billing schemes at his two clinics – Genesis Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation Center ($90,000) and Shiloh Mental Health Services ($110,000). Agboh conducted the billing and reimbursement scheme from July to October 2004 at Genesis and from June 2005 to April 2006 at Shiloh.

“This defendant received a five-year sentence for defrauding the taxpayers,” Attorney General Abbott said. “The Medicaid program was billed for services the defendant never rendered. The Office of the Attorney General will continue investigating waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicaid system.”

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Kaylynn Williford prosecuted the case.

In 2006 alone, Texas spent more than $17 billion to fund its portion of the Medicaid program. To save taxpayer dollars and protect Texas seniors, Attorney General Abbott dramatically expanded the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

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 78th Legislature. It works with federal, state and local agencies across the state to identify and prosecute those who defraud 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.