Richmond man arrested for making illegal referrals
RICHMOND, TX -- A 43-year-old health care marketer has been indicted in a conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Authorities took Patrick Osemwengie, Richmond, into custody today. He is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Bray at 2 p.m.
The indictment, returned July 12, alleges Osemwengie paid Medicare beneficiaries to sign up for home health services and made referrals to specific companies.
Osemwengie allegedly received more than $25,000 in kickback payments for referring patients to Grace Healthcare Services and Ebra Health Care Services. The health care companies submitted claims to Medicare using the patients Osemwengie referred according to the charges.
Medicare rules and federal law prohibits paying and receiving money for referrals.
If convicted, Osemwengie faces up to five years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General and FBI conducted the investigation. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Abdul Farukhi is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.