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Medicare Recruiter to Spend Three Years in Prison

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 21, 2012
  • Southern District of Texas (713) 567-9000

HOUSTON—Gwendolyn Kay Frank, 43, of Houston, has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for her role in a massive health care fraud conspiracy that billed the Medicare and Medicaid programs for more than $45 million over a two-and-a-half-year period, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

Fran,k who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statue on June 19, 2012, was the fifth person to be sentenced in the Houston-based City Nursing health care fraud conspiracy. The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits referring beneficiaries to businesses that bill federal health care programs in return for payments. Frank, who was a recruiter or marketer for City Nursing, referred at least 28 Medicare beneficiaries to the owner of City Nursing, Umawa Oke Imo, in return for $24,500.

City Nursing billed Medicare and Medicaid for approximately $1,196,064 worth of services on the beneficiaries recruited by Frank and was paid approximately $800,533.80 for those services.

The evidence at the trial of Imo and other co-conspirators in May 2011 proved City Nursing never provided any of the physical therapy services billed to Medicare and Medicaid. Imo was sentenced last year to 327 months in federal prison, while other co-conspirators received sentences ranging from 46 months to 151 months. Two more co-conspirators will be sentenced in November, while another is set for trial November 5, 2012.

The investigation into City Nursing was the result of the joint efforts by special agents of the FBI, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, and the Texas Attorney General’s Office-Medicare Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting the case.

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