Tuesday, April 15, 2014
The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas issued the following news release on April 14, 2014:
Former Employee at Medistat Group, Associates, Inc., in Desoto, Texas, Sentenced to 33 Months in Federal Prison for Role in Health Care Fraud Conspiracy
Jerry C. Bullard and Okey Nwagbara Submitted Nearly $600,000 in False and Fraudulent Claims to Medicare
DALLAS — Jerry C. Bullard, 57, of Mesquite, Texas, was sentenced this afternoon, by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay, to 33 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $317,779 in restitution, following his guilty plea in February 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Bullard worked in the durable medical equipment department of Medistat Group Associates, Inc., an association of health care providers in Desoto, Texas. Judge Lindsay ordered that Bullard surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on July 15, 2014. The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
A co-defendant in the case, Okey Nwagbara, formerly of Plano, Texas, pleaded guilty in January 2012 to three felony offenses related to his involvement in the health care fraud conspiracy as well as providing false information to obtain citizenship. Nwagbara was the owner and operator of Advanced Medequip and Supplies, Ltd., (Advanced) a durable medical equipment company that was located in Richardson, Texas. He is currently serving a 36-month federal prison sentence; after the completion of that sentence, he will be referred to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) for deportation.
Bullard admitted that he entered into an agreement with Nwagbara to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. Bullard accepted kickbacks from Nwagbara to direct business to Advanced and to sign durable medical equipment orders for Advanced. Upon receiving cash payments from Nwagbara, Bullard would sign “JRoy MD” on Medistat prescription pads, durable medical equipment information forms and certificates of medical necessity for enteral nutrition products falsely indicating, among other things, that the beneficiary required tube feeding, when in fact the beneficiary did not. Bullard and Nwagbara admitted that they submitted and caused to be submitted $583,688 in these types of false and fraudulent claims.
The case was investigated by the Dallas Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) Strike Force, which includes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the FBI and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. To learn more about the HEAT Strike Force, please visit: http://stopmedicarefraud.gov
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Elliott and Mindy Sauter were in charge of the prosecution.