Tuesday, November 6, 2012
HOUSTON Tony Nnonso Obi, 56, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for his role in a massive health care fraud conspiracy that billed the Medicare and Medicaid programs for more than $45 million, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Obi entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of money laundering in August of this year. As part of his plea, Obi admitted to entering into an agreement with the owner of City Nursing, Umawa Imo, to receive 15% of the money City Nursing obtained from Medicare for services billed on individuals referred to City Nursing by Obi, or on Obi’s behalf. Imo, who is currently serving more than 27 years in federal prison for his role in the conspiracy, paid Obi $1,051,425.28. At least three of the beneficiaries taken to City Nursing by Obi were individuals living in his assisted living facility. Obi also admitted to paying beneficiaries and recruiters and handling office matters when Imo was out of the office.
The City Nursing case has to date seen the conviction of a total of eight individuals, seven of whom have now been sentenced to federal prison.
The investigation into City Nursing was the result of the joint efforts by Special Agents of the FBI, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and investigators from the Texas Attorney General's Medicare Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting the case.